Fire station project underway

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


While the coming Washington Fire Station is not moving upward yet, site work for the area that will house the new Washington Fire Station has begun and is set to be completed in September.

Washington City Administrator Brent Hinson also said that during the regular Washington City Council meeting Tuesday, bids for the construction of the fire station will be let. ?We split the project up into three construction projects because it was the most efficient and logical way to do it,? Hinson said.

Hinson said some grading had been done to the site and that crews are working to put a new water main in. He said the water main is being upgraded to allow for the fire suppression system in the building. The project also involves relocation of sewer lines that currently cut diagonally through the site. When the project is complete, the sewer lines will be routed around the site.

An east-west alley, that runs right next to the existing municipal building between Second and Third streets, will be closed as part of the project. Already there are barricades up closing the alley off. Hinson said the alley will be vacated because the new fire station would be connected.

?We are going to go through and repeat that to a single lot, because that is the most appropriate thing to do from a planning and zoning standpoint,? he said. ?There are a total of five separate parcels plus that east-west alley that are part of the fire station site.?

A project that will begin soon is phase one of the renovations of the existing municipal building. The plan is when the fire department moves into the new building, located right next to the existing building, the space left will be divided between the city offices and the police department. He said the first phase would put a water and electrical service room in and relocating the emergency generator.

Bids for the actual building construction are expected to be considered by the city council in about a month. Building construction is expected to start in mid September.

A spatial needs survey done in 2014 showed the city offices need about 25,000 square feet, and are currently housed in a 9,400 square foot building. The proposed designs total $2.5 million for the new fire station and about $1.2 million for the renovation of the municipal building. The council agreed to the plan after a proposal to use the former library building as city hall was rejected by the current council. The new plan calls for the construction of a new fire station and will house the police department and city hall in the current municipal building.