Wisconsin DNR to build new Mercer Ranger Station
The current Mercer Ranger Station is a couple of garages, outbuildings, and an office that is used by up to 12 staff members.
The garage was built in 1933 and what’s currently being used as the office was built in 1939, but back then it wasn’t meant to be an office space for multiple people.
“It was designed as a house because back in those days the ranger stations were residences for the primary ranger. It was never truly intended to be an office space for as many people as it’s been holding for the last several decades,” said Ryan Peaslee, DNR Forestry Supervisor for the Mercer team.
The new 15,000-square-foot facility will feature office spaces, garages, and heated bays for fire equipment.
He says while the office space is inconvenient to work out of when it’s fully staffed, that’s not the most important reason for the new ranger station.
The main driver has been to get heated garage space for the firefighting equipment.
“This will increase our readiness for fire control. As of now, we do not have any heated bays. We have to keep our equipment free of water or we have to winterize it every night during our spring fire season. Having that ability to keep them warm and not frozen will increase our readiness,” said Peaslee.
The new facility will cost around $4.3 million dollars.
Right now, the draft plans are being finalized.
It will go out to bid later this winter.
Peaslee says they’re hoping to start construction in the spring and have it finished by the end of 2023.