Council makes way for sixth fire station

By Rachel Bass

Champaign City Council members approved a resolution Tuesday night that will eventually allow for construction of a sixth fire station for the city.

The resolution allows City Manager Steve Carter to sign a contract with Henneman, Raufeisen and Associates, the engineering firm chosen by the city to provide architectural services. Henneman, Raufeisen and Associates worked on Champaign’s fifth fire station, Carter said. The city was satisfied with their work and comfortable with the design, he said. The overall price of the fire station should be less expensive than the fifth station because a prototype from their earlier work already exists, Carter said.

Councilman Michael La Due offered his support to the fire station project. After a great deal of debate, the project is finally getting under way, La Due said. The location of the new station has not yet been determined, he said.

Council members also approved the purchase of property for the Central Library Project. The property is located in between State and Randolph streets and Healey and Green streets. The purchase is a cause to celebrate, La Due said. The city has been waiting for this for a while, he said.

Library Director Marsha Grove also celebrated the purchase. Groundbreaking for the construction will occur this summer, she said.

Councilman Tom Bruno ended the meeting by congratulating the University men’s basketball team on their No. 1 ranking. The standing has a huge economic impact on restaurants, clothing stores, entertainment venues and national exposure for the city, Bruno said. He said he hopes the team will continue to do well up until the very end. Champaign will also enjoy the economic impact of Ron Zook and the football team, Bruno said.