Thursday, March 6, 2014
It has been nearly five years since the City of Georgetown paid $1.07 million for the 18-acre tract and the building that once was the site of Eagle Electric in the Maryville area.
Since that time, the only main work that has taken place on the site is the removal of some of the unusable portions of the warehouse structure. City leaders say construction will be taking place on the property in the next couple of years.
The original purpose of buying the property was so the city could build a new fire station to service the Maryville area — but a new station is still at least two years from becoming reality.
City Fire Chief Joey Tanner has been asking for a new Maryville fire station for years because the current facility on South Island Road, built in 1978, is much too small, has major structural issues and does not have the space to house the two fire engines at that location.
“Fire trucks are designed to work outside but not live outside,” he said. “They are not made to sit out in 12 degree and 110 degree weather.”
He said keeping the trucks outside will likely hurt the city’s ISO (insurance) rating.
“The ISO requires the trucks to be housed inside,” he said.
The current firehouse also has mold and leak issues, Tanner said.
To be budgeted in 2015-16
Georgetown City Administrator Chris Carter said this week he anticipates the construction of a three-bay fire station to be included in the 2015-16 budget.
“My plan is to propose the sale of General Obligation bonds to fund this project. A preliminary design for the station needs to be completed before a good cost estimate can be obtained,” Carter said.
There has also been talk about the creation of a two-acre fire training facility on the site but that has not yet been approved by city council.
Carter said the Request for Proposals (RFP) are advertised, he would like to hire one firm that can design and build the new fire station rather than hire an architect and a separate construction company.
As a very rough guess, Tanner said he expects a new station will cost $1.5 million to build.
Water tower first
Carter said the first main addition to the property will be a new water tower to service the area.
He said a 250,000-gallon elevated storage tank — similar in size to the one at City Hall — is being erected on the site.
“This tank construction, which will take all of 2014, followed by the Fire Station construction probably will be only activity through July 2016,” Carter said. “Having two construction projects ongoing at the same time will probably tie up the site for a year or more.”
Carter said the city’s Electric Department is also expected to locate on the property. Currently, that department is housed in the former National Guard Armory on Church Street.
Storage of electric poles is already occurring on the concrete pad, Carter said.
The city has the ability to borrow up to $3.5 million through General Obligation Bonds without having to hold a referendum for residents to decide if the money should be spent on a new fire station.