Schommer to turn over leadership role at end of year, as planning for station expansion gains momentum
Fredonia Fire Chief Brian Schommer has spent much of his tenure lobbying for better facilities for his department.
Although plans are moving on a major expansion project that should ease cramped conditions at the fire station next year, it turns out Schommer will not be around to enjoy the fruits of his lobbying efforts.
Village trustees accepted Schommer’s resignation at last week’s Village Board meeting.
He has led the department for nearly 22 years.
Schommer did not attend the board meeting, but submitted a succinct letter of resignation.
“After a lot of thought and consideration, I have decided that it is time for me to step down as fire chief of the Fredonia Fire Department,” the chief wrote.
Schommer’s last day will be Dec. 31, although Trustee Ryan Mueller — a member of the department — said the chief would serve in an interim capacity if needed until a new chief is selected.
The fire chief is appointed by the Village Board, but the appointment typically comes from within the department and with support of the membership.
Trustees spent considerably more time at the board meeting going over revised plans for the proposed fire station expansion, developed by Quasius Construction.
Among the changes incorporated into the updated plan is lowering the roof line of the addition and relocation of two public rest rooms.
In its current configuration, the expansion project is expected to cost just over $1.7 million although the actual cost won’t be known until bids are received.
Village officials were pleased with the progress and referred the latest plans to the Public Works and Fire Department Modernization committees.
If the project continues as proposed by Quasius, bids on the work would be sought in February with construction starting in spring.
Village President Don Dohrwardt said he didn’t want to rush the project to meet an arbitrary schedule.
“I want to make sure the board members are in their comfort zone before we start, and that may take a few meetings,” Dohrwardt said.
It will be much easier to make changes to the building while it is in the planning stage, he said.
“If we end up needing to make changes, I want to make sure it only requires lines on paper and not digging up sewer and gutter,” Dohrwardt said.
“If we are going to be spending close to $2 million, I want to make sure we have all of our ducks in a row.”