We told you a couple of weeks ago about Mandan's ongoing remediation project to retrieve more than a million gallons of diesel beneath downtown.
The city has done a good job of hiding or disguising most of the machinery used to suck up and collect all that fuel.
Some of it is in a very prominent spot in the middle of town.
You can't get more in the middle of the city than the Mandan Fire Station, which has been here since the 1920s.
It's been updated a few times since then. Behind door number one is a fire engine. Behind door number two is another fire engine. But behind door number three there is no fire engine. It's just a short bay that used for a bit of storage. That's because most of the space is taken up by this massive collection of pumps, pipes and tanks. It's noisy and it smells like diesel, but it's sealed off from the rest of the building.
"The original plan was to have like a lean-to on the side of the building. And I wasn't really happy 'cause we had just renovated this station in 2002. So we wanted something that looked a little bit nicer. And then they came back with a full apparatus bay," said Steve Nardello, Mandan fire chief.
What makes it nice is that once the remediation process is over and the equipment is removed, the city can knock out the back wall and have room to park another fire engine.
"It looks like a workable bay, and in fact, it really is. It's just that it's partitioned off in the inside, so we don't have full use of that bay. So it's part of the station," Nardello said.
And when that change comes, few people who pass by will even be able to notice.
The fire department will be expanding in order to meet the demands of a growing city.
Plans are in the works to build a third fire station on Old Red Trail in order to reduce response times in the northwest part of town.