Cost of new Danville fire station rising

May 13, 2004|LIZ MAPLES

The cost of a proposed fire station on the Danville bypass could be as much as $600,000. That's triple the original estimate.

In a budget workshop Tuesday commissioners and staff began to discuss, in detail, the design elements of the station. No designs have been made public.

Commissioners and city staff discussed designs, pictures and information that has been passed back-and-forth in e-mails. Commissioners said that the design costs range from $400,000 -$600,000.

Asked if commissioners had been e-mailing each other collectively, City Manager Darrell Blenniss said that commissioners only e-mail to staff in an effort to keep the communications legal. Public bodies cannot hold such deliberations in private.


The first public discussion about the fire station design was Tuesday. Construction is expected to start in August.

The Advocate-Messenger has made an open records request for all the e-mails and design documents that have been circulated

The city has already paid $75,000 for one acre of land for the station. That's twice as much as the alternate site would have cost. Negotiations about the price were held, legally, behind closed doors for more than a year. One purpose of such executive sessions is to keep the cost of property down.

The design of the station could have been less elaborate if it were located on an alternate, less expensive site behind Goodwill, Commissioner Jamey Gay said in a telephone interview Tuesday.

Commissioner Chester Kavanaugh said at the meeting that he wanted the station to stand out and look nice since it will be on the bypass. He didn't say how much he thought the city should spend.

The $600,000 design would have sleeping quarters, three bays for fire trucks, a living room, office and smoking room. The entire building would have a brick facade. Gay said he doesn't believe the station needs a smoking room, and that firefighters should just step outside to smoke. Gay said he won't support a station that will cost more than $480,000. He said that the first $200,000 estimate was ridiculously low, and that the cost has risen over time.

The station would have the same shape as one built in Nicholasville.

Mayor John W.D. Bowling, Kavanaugh and Commissioner Ryan Owens voted for the purchase of the land to build the station. Voting against were commissioners Gay and Terry Crowley.

Bowling said then that the acre on the bypass was a better choice because the alternate choice, on Belinda Avenue, could become crowded with cars on Friday night with Applebee's customers.

Bowling also has said that the acre the city bought was really worth $150,000. The city will pay $75,000 for the land and $10,000 for materials to extend water and sewerage to the property.

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