Public presentation offered on new fire station plan

By Xiomara Levsen, The JOURNAL


The City of Washington is inviting residents to attend a public presentation about an upcoming facility project and to tour its current city hall, police and fire department.

?Basically, what we?re doing is getting ready for a significant project,? Washington city administrator Brent Hinson said. ?We?re getting the word out and giving people a chance to see our current facilities.?

The public presentation and tours will be at 6:30 p.m., Jan. 4, Jan. 15 and Feb. 5, at 215 East Washington Street.

The significant project Hinson is referring to is the new fire station that will be built next year. A 20 minute presentation of the architect renderings of what the new fire station will look like will be given in the bay of the fire station before the tours are conducted.

?We are having the presentation in the fire department because that?s the only place we have room for it,? Hinson added.

The new fire station project has been in motion for a while.

?This project has been in motion for four years,? Hinson said. ?We had a facility study started in 2013. It was finished in early 2014.?

One of the key points made in the study, which is available for the public to read on the city?s website, was that city hall and the fire and police departments needed more room.

The estimated cost to build the new fire station is $2.5 million.

?We have $1.4 million in cash right now for the project,? Hinson said. ?We saved money over the last five budgets. The council as a whole understood the need for the project.?

By doing this the tax rate for Washington residents will stay the same and no bond vote will be needed, he added.

The city will start the bid-letting process next fall and ground will broken by the end of 2018, Hinson said. The new fire station will be built on the land just south of where the station is now.

The new fire station will provide much-needed space for equipment storage and an area for firefighters to train.

?They?re looking forward to that ? I think,? Hinson said.