Council awards contract for second fire station

Published 4:18 am Tuesday, January 23, 2007

By Staff
Chief’s cuts allow facility to retain third bay
By MIKE VOSS, Contributing Editor
Washington’s City Council awarded a $2,249,733 construction contract to Hudson Brothers Construction Co. to build a second fire station for the city.
The unanimous vote to award the contract came during the council’s meeting Monday. The decision came two weeks after the council told Jimmy Davis, chief of the Fire-Rescue-EMS-Inspections Department, that if he wanted a third bay for the station, he needed to make cuts to the project. The council said its estimated cost needed to be no greater than the $2.867 million the U.S. Department of Agriculture is lending the city to build the second station on West 15th Street Extension.
Davis told the council he could make the needed cuts so the station would get its third bay.
On Monday, Davis told the council he made cuts that, in his opinion, would result in “the least amount of impact on the operations of the station.” Davis also said some of the eliminated items could be restored to the project if savings are realized in other areas of the project.
But even with the cuts Davis made, the project’s estimated cost is above the amount the council approved to spend on the project.
In early 2006, the city was approved to receive a $1.53 million loan from USDA’s Rural Development branch to pay for the second station. That commitment was made before soil-related problems with the original site for the station surfaced. Those problems forced the city to abandon the site donated for the second station and seek land elsewhere on which to build the second station. The city bought land along 15th Street Extension for the second station.
With the soil problems delaying the project for several months, construction-material costs — steel and concrete in particular — have increased, Philip Fieler, spokesman for Stewart Cooper Newell, told the council this spring.
In May, the council decided to seek a subsequent loan of $1.337 million from USDA’s Rural Development branch to cover increased costs associated with the second station. City officials understand that building, equipping and staffing the second station will cause an increase in the city’s property-tax rate within the next two fiscal years.
The council next meets Feb. 1-2 for its annual planning session. The Feb. 1 meeting begins at 9 a.m. The planning session will be conducted at the agricultural-services building on Airport Road between Warren Field Airport and the McConnell sports complex.
For more coverage of the council’s meeting, see future editions of the Daily News.