Greenleaf Volunteer Fire Department looking to expand

Brian Roebke photo —
The Greenleaf Volunteer Fire Department is pursuing expansion of the firehouse located on Day Street in Greenleaf. They are interested in purchasing two duplexes located adjacent to the station. The tentative idea is to take down or move one duplex and keep the other as a possible home for County Rescue.

By Brian Roebke
Chief Mark De Cleene and the Greenleaf Volunteer Fire Department are pursuing expansion of the firehouse located on Day Street in Greenleaf.
De Cleene attended the Town of Wrightstown’s May meeting at the town hall to tell the board of their plans and to seek input. Earlier, they spoke to the plan commission and received positive feedback.
There are two duplexes located adjacent to the station that are for sale, and the fire department is looking into purchasing that land and getting any rezoning necessary. The tentative idea is to take down or move one duplex and keep the other as a possible home for County Rescue.
“We thought it would be a good time to do a trial run,” De Cleene said about having an ambulance stationed in Southern Brown County full time.
There is also a garage on site they would like to use.
If the trial is successful, that could be incorporated into the expansion to the firehouse building some day.
“We just wanted to get the ball rolling and get a conversation going,” De Cleene said.
Reasons for the expansion include the station being pretty filled up with equipment and the incoming digester project that will require the fire department to have additional confined space equipment.
Originally, BC Organics planned to keep the equipment on site but store it outside. That was later determined to be not the best idea.
“We talked to them about us taking possession of it once we get trained on it,” De Cleene said. “Rather than keeping it there, they want us to keep it at the station where we have quick access to it.”
That would allow them to train more regularly and keep up on the maintenance.
Town Chairman Bill Verbeten told the firefighters he had additional discussions with BC Organics and they are now thinking of having two sets of equipment, with one on site and one at the firehouse.
“If something happens there, instead of running to the Greenleaf Volunteer Fire Department, they would have it at both sides so if we need it, they would have it there and if that’s gone and something happens here, they don’t have it,” he added.
De Cleene also noted Tinedale Farms is installing a digester as well, so that’s another potential place the equipment will be used.
De Cleene said the building expansion could be 5-10 years down the road, so nothing is imminent.
Funding for the project is still uncertain.
“We just don’t have the money,” Supervisor Ron Diny said.
Verbeten said the revaluation that’s underway could bring additional money into the fire department coffers if the mill rate stays the same.
The fire department looked at other locations but believes the current location is as good as it’s going to get.
“We have guys that live right around the station and we can get the truck out so quick because guys don’t have to drive,” he said.
The location is also near the corner of two state highways and by a large underground water supply.
Zoning Administrator and Plan Commission Chairperson Rick Gerbers told the board he’s worked with the town attorney on enforcement procedures for the town’s nuisance policy.
Town board members gave Gerbers the go ahead to start working with one unnamed property owner to get that property cleaned up.
“He said it can be a long process but it’s a start,” Gerbers said.
It’s not necessary for the board to approve changes to the ordinance since there weren’t any, but it does solidify the steps the town follows in the enforcement process.
Also at the town meeting, the town board approved various beer, liquor, and tobacco licenses:
Combination Class B Beer/Liquor: Hilly Haven Golf Course, Mally’s Spare Time, deBelgian Saloon & Eats, Greenleaf Landscaping & Gardens, and Slammer Inn Again.
Class B Wine: WineALot Vineyards.
Class B Beer: WineALot Vineyards
Class A Liquor and Class A Fermented Malt Beverage: Greenleaf BP
Tobacco: Slammer Inn Again, Greenleaf BP