EAST GULL LAKE -- Increased fire protection is coming to the west side of Gull Lake.
Fairview Township residents Tuesday approved the construction of a fire substation by a 43-1 vote.
The township is part of the Pillager Area Fire Protection Association, which includes the Cass County townships of Sylvan, Homebrook and May, the city of Pillager, and the Morrison County townships of Rail Prairie and Rosing.
The $160,000 substation is expected to be completed by September, said Marla Yoho, Fairview Township clerk. The station will be built onto the town hall, and the Pillager Fire Department supplied the equipment.
The department will be made up of volunteers from the area. The building will be a three-bay fire hall. Stored inside will be a tanker-pumper, a pick-up grass rig and a medical vehicle for the first responders. Officially, Pillager Fire Chief Randy Lee said, the station will be known as Pillager Area Fire and Rescue Department, Station No. 2.
Lee said the 12 volunteers for the substation have already gone through 40 hours of first responder training and are nearing completion of their firefighter training.
The need for a fire substation in Fairview Township was apparent by the census numbers, Lee said. In 2000 the township had 567 residents, up from 354 in 1990. The houses there represent a $95 million taxable market base, Yoho said.
Lee was pleased to hear the township backed the substation and came up with the funding for it.
"It's great to see that many supporters up there agree with us, that the need is there," Lee said. "The township is growing."
Yoho, too, said growth played a factor in getting a substation to the township, but so, too, did location.
"Everybody has always questioned the distance from Pillager, and how long it would take to get coverage," Yoho said.
The benefits are not only fire protection and better insurance, which in some cases could make up for the increase in taxes, but also medical service to Fairview residents.
The fire station will also serve several businesses along Cass County Road 77, including the Quarterdeck Restaurant and Resort, Kelly's restaurant and Birch Bay Golf Course.
Yoho said the tax increase would equate to $30 per $100,000 house value, but she hasn't heard any complaints.
"Not one negative comment, and if they have them they haven't come to any of the meetings," said Yoho.
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