New ambulance garage coming to town

BLOOMING PRAIRIE, Minn. — Blooming Prairie is the latest town where residents will be chipping in for a new facility. The city council approved an approximately $1.1 million project.

Not everyone would want to live next door to an ambulance garage, but a nearby neighbor to a future one does not mind too much.

“It really doesn’t matter to me one way or the other,” said Paul Dhaemers of Blooming Prairie.

Like anyone, Dhaemers is not a big fan of paying more of his money to taxes.

“I’m not sure if they really need a new garage, I don’t really know what’s wrong with the old one,” Dhaemers said.

City leaders say there is an issue with the current building, it is just too small.

“The ambulances that we currently have in the building we have now barely fit in there and we were told that’s the last year that we were going to be able to buy that size of an ambulance, the next ones we go to are going to be bigger,” said Blooming Prairie City Administrator Mike Jones.

Jones said that there are other benefits to the $1.1 million dollar project.

“It actually brings three to four things together. We’re going to be putting a street together with a cul-de-sac which provides access to the manufacturer. It also opens up a lot back there for possible development,” Jones said.

Part of the money for the project will come from a public facility bond which means a $48,800 tax levy increase for residents, but there are other funding sources as well.

“We’ll be selling our old building so we’ll use those funds to help pay for the cash and then we have cash on hand in the ambulance fund to supplement their project to the point where we can do the bond issue,” Jones said.

Dhaemers said as long as the new road does not interfere with his pine trees, he is okay letting the city do their job.

“I’ve been down there before a few times because I thought it might impact our property value,” Dhaemers said.

The city is also receiving some grant money from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) for the road part of the project because it will lead to some potential development land.

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