Short takes: Fire station plans proceed

Short takes: Fire station plans proceed

Michele Ellson

On Monday night, city officials held the last of three community meetings to discuss a new Fire Station 3 and emergency operations center. Preliminary planning on the new facilities is expected to be completed by Thanksgiving.

The preliminary design plans discussed Monday envision a 9,500-square-foot fire station that fronts Buena Vista Avenue between Hibbard and Grand streets with a separate, 2,500-square-foot emergency operations center that sits behind it on Grand. The estimated cost of the facilities is $6.8 million, F. Christopher Ford of BRW Architects said.

“We think we’re on a good track with this option,” Ford told a crowd of about three dozen people, about a third of them fire department personnel, gathered at Mastick Senior Center. He said additional planning work will take place over the next month or so.

City leaders will then decide whether to proceed with a formal planning process that will include a request for a use permit, design and environmental reviews to be heard by the Planning Board and City Council. They will also need to figure out where the money to pay for the new facilities will come from.

“This is a wonderful plan,” said John McCahan, a Public Utility Board member who also chairs the local Red Cross affiliate’s advisory board. McCahan, who called the city’s current emergency operations center in the basement of the Alameda Police Department “one of the worst places you could work,” praised the new plans, which separate the emergency center from the fire station.

City leaders have initiated efforts to replace Alameda’s existing mid-Island fire station at Grand Street and Pacific Avenue because it is seismically unsound; firefighters haven’t inhabited the station in over a decade. Information from the three community meetings will be posted to the city’s website.

Comments

Submitted by bayfarm on Tue, Oct 2, 2012

Earlier this year, when the City was trying to sell the Measure C tax increase, the cost estimate for the fire station replacement/EOC was around $4.5 million. Now it's up to $6.8 million (and the city has no money for it anyway, and at least one study says it's not needed.)

In any event, with the costs escalating, and the City hell-bent on going forward with this project, despite voters rejecting it, and despite there being no money, is there anyone who still thinks they were going to get swimming pools if Measure C passed?

It's a lesson for the next hoodwink Russo and crew try to pull on taxpayers.