Onalaska Fire District Meeting Set for Tonight Amid Attempt to Recall Commissioners

A regular meeting of the Lewis County Fire District 1 board of commissioners is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at Onalaska High School in room 408. 

This will be the first meeting since former Chief Andrew Martin filed a request for a recall petition against commissioners Rich Bainbridge and Bill Kassel. 

 Former Onalaska Fire Chief, Captain File Request to Recall Commissioners

The request has been forwarded to the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office.

Since November 2017, the district has gone through some upheaval including a vote by Bainbridge and Kassel to fire Martin as chief, the resignation of about half of the districts volunteers and commissioner Jeff Lee and an order from the state Department of Labor and Industries to vacate their main station on Carlisle Avenue due to health hazards including asbestos and mold. 

 Onalaska Fire District Staff, Volunteers Quit After Chief Fired

Some community members have called for Bainbridge and Kassel to resign, while others have defended the commissioners. 

The commission has accepted applications for the vacant commission position for the past several weeks and will continue to accept them until the meeting Thursday.

 Onalaska Residents Call for Commission’s Resignation as Fire Station Closed by State