Possibly closed through mid-2022 or longer: Flood-damaged downtown Bloomington fire station

A temporary location at 4th Street and College Avenue could be serving as Bloomington’s downtown fire station for another year and a half.

That’s based on a “right of access” agreement for the property, which was approved by the Bloomington’s redevelopment commission (RDC), at its regular meeting on Monday. The  fire department’s right of access to the RDC’s property runs through the end of 2022.

Station 1 was damaged in the flooding that hit areas of downtown on the night of June 18.

The heavy rains that night filled the fire station’s basement with eight feet of water, drowning the building’s telecommunications center. Station 1 also served as the department’s administrative headquarters.

The temporary site—in the former Bunger & Robertson building at College Square—is four blocks east west of Station 1.

It has been housing the department’s administrative functions since the flood hit. On Monday, Bloomington fire chief Jason Moore told The B Square that the department also has operational crews stationed there from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

When the firetrucks are not at the temporary site, they are distributed to other stations in a way to optimize fire protection coverage from those four sites.

Providing fire protection around the clock from the temporary downtown location will be made possible by the RDC’s approval at its Monday meeting. The right of access includes permission to establish a temporary fire truck bay in the parking lot, which will allow the trucks to be secured overnight.

In connection with the temporary fire engine bay, Bloomington’s board of public safety will be asked at its Tuesday meeting to approve a $101,850 base contract with Mahaffey USA, to erect the structure. Continue reading “Possibly closed through mid-2022 or longer: Flood-damaged downtown Bloomington fire station”

Damaged in flood: Downtown Bloomington fire station closed for unknown time

Bloomington’s fire station at Fourth and Lincoln streets in downtown will be closed, “for an unknown period of time,” according to a press release issued by the city early Wednesday afternoon.

The closing is due to damage sustained to the station during last weekend’s flooding, when 5 to 7 inches of rain fell on Bloomington from late Friday night into Saturday morning.

According to the press release, the equipment and personnel for the downtown station will be redeployed at one of among the city’s other four stations.

According to the press release, the time for firefighters to respond to calls will not be compromised due to the closure: “Based on a careful reallocation of equipment and personnel, no significant delays in emergency response times are anticipated.”

[Updated at 3:58 p.m. on June 23, 2021: In a press release issued late Wednesday afternoon, the city of Bloomington announced that the police station, on 3rd Street, a block south of the closed fire station, is able to continue normal  operations despite flood damage. According to the release, the losses included “significant damage to electronic and computer equipment.”

The fact that there was not more damage is credited to fast-acting city employees.  Police chief Mike Diekhoff is quoted in the release saying, “[It] could have been much worse without the quick responses of BPD officers, non-sworn staff and facilities managers who began the recovery process well before the last drop of rain had fallen.”] Continue reading “Damaged in flood: Downtown Bloomington fire station closed for unknown time”