The Edmond Sun

Business

May 19, 2014

Fire Department presents $26.3 million in upgrades to council

EDMOND — Two new fire stations, renovations or new construction for three existing stations and expansion of the Fire Department’s training facility are part of the long-term goals of the City of Edmond, said Jake Rhoades, Edmond fire chief. The city is discussing $26.3 million in potential projects for the Fire Department.

A core system of city government needs to update its aging infrastructure in order to meet the demands of the City of Edmond’s growing population, said Larry Stevens, city manager.

The Edmond City Council discussed long-term capital projects recently at a special workshop.

There are concerns that the 2000 Capital Improvement 3/4-cent sales tax will not provide adequate funding for major capital projects, Stevens said. Bond issues used to fund projects from the 2000 tax were issued in $20 million increments and will be paid out in 2021, Stevens said.

“We tried to address all of our needs well into the future,” Rhoades said.

City spokesman Casey Moore said a funding source for the project list has not been determined and has not been part of official discussion.

“This is part of a laundry list of what we know is out there. I think this is why you start this discussion,” Moore said. The Capital Projects and Financing Task Force will discuss the item this week to help identify funding options for the $26.3 million worth of projects identified by the Fire Department.

Fire Station 1 needs to be replaced, Rhoades said. The bulk of the department’s duties are instigated at the 925 E. Second St. station, he said.

“We’re looking at a 1976 station that runs three companies and a battalion chief out of it,” Rhoades said.

Many of the stations are not in compliance with the American Disabilities Act. Neither are they gender equitable, Rhoades said.

Consideration has been given to remodel Fire Station 1. But the current configuration with three bays for the engine, rescue and ladder truck to be inside as well as housing the battalion chief.

“We need a fourth bay in there due to the amount of surface,” Rhoades said. “And actually we park a reserve battalion chief’s rig outside due to the lack of room.”

The station needs a place to keep protective equipment separate from living quarters, Rhoades said. “With the amount of land there, going up to a two-story (building) is much more economical.”

Discussions need to occur about how to best accommodate the station’s needs if department members are displaced during construction, Rhoades said.

“That’s a great location, but is that the permanent location?” Rhoades said.

Mayor Charles Lamb noted that the $5.3 million based on today’s dollars is only for the construction price.

Station 2 was also built in 1976. The four-man station is the city’s busiest and is at 1315 S. Broadway, Rhoades said. Other stations have covered for Station 2 when they already are in service. The districts of Station 1 and 2 overlap one another.

“What we need is to put additional personnel in there,” he said of Station 2.

The city purchased vacant land in 2007 northeast of 15th Street and Kelly in order to relocate Fire Station 2. What to do with the existing Station 2 facility has yet to be answered, Rhoades said. Apparatus storage may be an option to consider there, he added. Today’s cost of the project is $3.5 million for construction purposes only.

“The plan has been in place for some time,” Rhoades said.

“And as far as priorities, that well outranks the others.”

Living quarters at Station 4 are adequate, but the bay, storage area and the retaining wall are issues, he said.

Another bay is needed to properly house tech rescue, hazmat, rescue boat, water boat, hanging brush, engines and other equipment in too little space, Rhoades explained.

An additional construction cost of $6.5 million is needed to upgrade the Station 5 Cross Timbers Municipal Training Facility, 5300 W. Covell, Rhoades said. Burn facilities and roadways were completed at the training facility in 2005.

Other areas of study include updating projects for parks and recreation, multipurpose trails, four additional fields for Edmond 66 Park, existing ball field renovation, land acquisition for an additional community park, Mitch Park YMCA expansion and a second city library.

Discussions involve an expansion to the Animal Welfare facility, a downtown parking garage, building the CityLink Transfer Station with parking, and constructing the Pedestrian Bridge east of the railroad tracks to cross over Edmond Road.

Public safety radio infrastructure replacement is also needed along with the renovation of what soon will be the old Police Department building for administrative offices and regional water detention and storm water projects, Stevens said.

Citizen input will be sought to go along with recommendations to be made by the Capital Projects and Financing Task Force.

Funding for road projects will be a major part of any future capital discussion, but cost of road projects is not listed in the $143.6 million project list figure.

Implementing these projects would take a course of 15 years. No suggestions were made concerning how to fund the nearly $143.6 million worth of projects.

jcoburn@edmondsun.com | 341-2121

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