Danville spending almost $800,000 on fire station

December 19, 2004|LIZ MAPLES

Danville will build its southend fire station on the U.S. 127 Bypass, and it will come with all the trimmings for $715,000.

City Commissioners agreed Friday to pay Tommy Owens $75,000 for one acre across from Applebee's. They had questioned whether the city should buy it because Owens has not completed work that he promised to do by Aug. 31.

Then commissioners voted 3-2 to build a brick building with all of the extra architectural features, which will cost the city $26,200 more than a basic brick building.

Commissioners Chester Kavanaugh and Ryan Owens and Mayor John W.D. Bowling voted for it. Commissioners Jamey Gay and Terry Crowley against it.


Kavanaugh said he believes it was time to get the project started. It has been in the planning stages for several years. Bowling has said he wanted to put a nice building on the bypass because the city expected private businesses to build aesthetically pleasing structures and he believes the city ought to do the same.

Gay said because the cost of the building has grown by several hundred thousand dollars from the original estimates that they ought to consider cutting some of the trimmings.

In question were a covered entrance, $8,860; dormers on the windows, $12,912; and split face stone on the bottom of the building, $4,460.

City staff cut the drive-through fire truck bays and sprinkler system to save $100,000.

Crowley said he believes the city should have agreed to the basic building and then decided later if it needed the additional architectural features.

Mayor tries to end debate

As Gay and Crowley tried to discuss the matter, Kavanaugh called for a vote. Bowling said the call for a vote should cut off debate.

"I think that's wrong," Crowley said.

Then, Kavanaugh said he would yield so Gay and Crowley could speak.

Soon after the commissioners finished, Bowling called for the vote and it was split.

Tommy Owens agreed to fulfill the conditions commissioners set for him at a meeting earlier this month. He will issue a letter of credit for $175,000, the cost of the work that hasn't been completed, and be ready to close on the property in seven days.

The city will pay him $75,000 for the acre on the bypass. It will pay $715,000 for the building.

The city originally budgeted $480,000 to build the building, a price that City Manager Darrell Blenniss has said should have been adjusted as the size of the building grew and as the years passed. In July, the city's architect told commissioners that the price would be $629,000.

Gay said the city should reconsider its design because bids came back considerably higher than expected, or at least build a building without the extra architectural features.

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