Craig “Spitter” Moeller helps Fireman Joe Karsten draw the winning ticket for the Harley-Davidson motorcycle at a fundraiser held for a new Manning fire station in late January.
Craig “Spitter” Moeller helps Fireman Joe Karsten draw the winning ticket for the Harley-Davidson motorcycle at a fundraiser held for a new Manning fire station in late January.
February 6, 2014



A Harley-Davidson motorcycle stole the show at a Jan. 18 event that raised $29,405 to help build a new fire station in Manning.

More than 200 people attended the event, which was held at the Hausbarn in Manning. According to Todd Stadtlander, one of the organizers, the dinner tickets raised about $2,000, the live and silent auction contributed $12,155, and the motorcycle raffle cleared $15,250. Andy Dreier held the winning raffle ticket.

Through a capital campaign pledge drive, local donors have contributed an additional $31,500, and organizers have received a $15,000 Warren Timmerman Trust Fund grant. Combined with smaller fundraising efforts, the volunteers have raised about $100,000 of the needed $300,000 community contribution to complete the estimated $1.2 million fire-station project.

"The facility we have is inadequate now with our new trucks and equipment - we're just running out of room," explained Stadtlander.

The new fire station will increase room for the department and its vehicles, including a 30-by-80-foot meeting room, additional office space, a kitchen and restrooms. The new fire station will measure 80-by-130-feet, and the new truck bay will measure 80-by-100-feet.

According to fire chief Bob Barsby, fire trucks have increased in size throughout the years, and the mirrors of the trucks actually touch when they are all parked in the old station. The original fire station on Sixth Street was built in 1955 and hasn't received an addition since 1976.

City administrator Dawn Rohe said efforts to build a new fire station started in 2000. They lost traction in 2005, and picked back up heavily about a year ago, she said.

Roughly $900,000 of the project cost will be split between the city of Manning and the surrounding townships. Though it will involve some debt, there will not be a ballot initiative, Rohe said.

The $300,000 community fundraising goal is the difference between the estimated project cost and the amount the local governments could contribute. The actual cost of the project won't be determined until bids are received. The city began accepting bids on Jan. 27. It hopes to open bids March 4 and award a contract by March 18.

According to Stadtlander, dirt work on the project has already begun. Boeck Construction graded a plot on Birch Avenue last fall in order to raise the ground 61/2 feet above the flood plain.

Stadtlander said volunteers plan to apply for more grants for the project. Manning Emergency Medical Services will also hold a mud run this summer with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the fire station.