October 30, 2014

Fire hall to be constructed on tight budget

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STANDISH — The Standish Area Fire Authority Board recently met with the consulting engineer and architect for the new fire hall, to discuss preliminary costs and to look over some early drawings of what the new fire hall may look like.

Consulting Engineer Adam Ball, of Surveying Solutions Inc. estimates that the new hall will have to be constructed on a budget of around $301,000.

“These numbers are generated from preliminary concepts,” he said. “We are taking a look at them now so that we do not get too far ahead of ourselves and have to backtrack.”

The Standish Area Fire Authority has a total budget of $585,000 for the construction of the hall. According to Ball the construction of things like a sanitary sewer and parking lot will add up, leaving only the estimated $301,000 for the building itself.

“Everything is preliminary until it is bid right now and can change,” he said.

The construction of the new hall comes in part due to funding given to Michigan from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the United States Department of Agriculture.

Standish received $485,000 to construct a new fire hall building, and Oliver said the Standish Area Fire Authority will have to provide $100,000 on its own. Standish Fire Authority President Doug Ireland said $200,000 comes from a federal grant the city received, another $285,000 from the United States Department of Agriculture, totaling the $585,000 for the project.

Fire Chief Mitch Oliver said the main priority of the new hall will be to get all equipment under one roof and have a place to keep the fire trucks safe.

“This is going to be a bare bones building,” he said. “We are not trying to build the Taj Mahal here.”

President of the fire authority board Jeff Trombley said the main concern with construction of the new fire hall is energy effectiveness.

“In (our current building) it costs about $15,000 a year to heat,” he said. “We don’t have $15,000 a year to heat this new building every month.”

Trombley said it is important for the hall to be built cost effectively now.

“We have got to get what we can afford,” he said. “Who knows? Two or three years down the road we can look at extras, but right now we need a building.”

Operating on a tight budget is a challenge, especially for architect Ivars Dzirnis.

“This economy is still driving the bus,” he said. “We have got our work cut out for us, that’s for sure.”

Dzirnis said that there are a number of different codes that have to be followed when constructing a fire hall.

“A fire building has to be stronger than a normal building,” he said. “It’s things like that we have to be aware of and look into.”

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