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Certifiably green: Muscatine Fire Department shows off its new, environmentally friendly station

Certifiably green: Muscatine Fire Department shows off its new, environmentally friendly station

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A few people got to take a tour Tuesday of Fire Station No. 2 during a press conference on the Iowa Renewable Energy Jobs 2020 coalition and its work to move Iowa toward a cleaner, safer and more affordable energy future. Photo: Joe Jarosz/Muscatine Journal

MUSCATINE, Iowa — The Muscatine Fire Department is LEED-ing the way in energy efficiency in Muscatine.

On Tuesday, city officials and members of the community highlighted the new fire station at 2124 Stewart Road, in Muscatine’s  Southend.

The station hasn’t officially been LEED-certified yet, but city officials expect that to happen within the next few months.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, (LEED) certification, comes from the the U.S. Green Building Council. It’s designed to help identify and implement measurable green building designs, construction, operations and maintenance practices.

Around 2 p.m., five speakers talked about how the new fire station will

benefit the community. A brief tour of the new station was given afterwards.

The station replaces an older, smaller station in the Southend and should be open by the end of this month.

The six speakers were Jessica Brackett, Clean Air Muscatine executive director, Kas Kelly, Muscatine County Board of Supervisors Chair, Muscatine Mayor, DeWayne Hopkins, Muscatine Fire Chief Jerry Ewers, Sister Cathleen Real, secretary for Iowa Interfaith  Power and Light. and LEED consultant Kimberly Dickey.

Dickey and Ewers said the new station will eventually shoot for a Silver LEED Certification.

A silver rating is based off of a point system and how energy efficient a building is. The levels are platinum, gold, silver and certified.

The speakers talked about other efforts to create green jobs in Muscatine County and future opportunities for job creation in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

As part of the Iowa Renewable Energy Jobs 2020 coalition, Brackett, also the moderator of Tuesday’s event, said  the hope is to create 20,000 clean energy jobs in Iowa by the year 2020.

Kelly and Hopkins both said that Muscatine is a forward thinking community and this new station is one of the many examples of that.

Hopkins said he appreciates Ewers’ efforts in getting the new station built.

Ewers spoke about how much help the city has received for the project, including nearly $1.3 million from the state in grants for the new station.

“The citizens only bonded about 20 percent of the project,” Ewers said.

Ewers said the 9,800- square-foot building was a community effort. The land was donated by Grain Processing Co., office furniture by HNI Corp., lighting by Musco Lighting and trees and shrubbery by Muscatine Branching Out.

“We benefitted from a lot of cost savings,” Ewers said.

With this building, Dickey said they looked at design opportunities for ways to be  more energy efficient. She pointed out there are bike racks in the parking lot, concrete surfaces with a high albedo — reflectivity that helps sunlight bounce back after hitting the surface — and heated floors in the truck bay.

During a brief tour of the new facility, Assistant Chief Mike Hartman said the station will hold one engine, and ambulance, the hazmat truck and resources from the Muscatine County Sheriff’s Office.

“This location will improve response times in the area,” Hartman said, giving the example they would now be able to reach Fruitland about three minutes quicker.

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