Public hearings set for fire station projects

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


The Washington City Council will hold public hearings on plans, specifications, form of contract and cost estimates for the fire department site improvement project and for the phase 1 renovations project during its regular meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Washington Public Library.

Washington City Administrator Brent Hinson said it would be another week before the city gets bids on the projects for the council to consider at its May 15 meeting. On June 1, 2018, two city bonds ? which were used to construct the new library and the downtown streetscape project ? will retire, which gives the city the ability to bond for the fire station project without raising taxes or requiring a bond referendum.

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.

Hinson also said the council will hear an annual report from Alliant Energy and will discuss an offer on a city lot at 415 W. Madison St. The lot formerly held a house that was demolished due to methamphetamine contamination.