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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Fire station architect on agenda

Friday, May 1, 2009

The McCook City Council will be asked to select an architect and approve a contract for the design of a new city fire station, at its regular meeting Monday, 7:30 p.m. in City Council Chambers in Memorial Auditorium.

At its April 20 meeting, the council approved the "Request for Qualifications" from architectural firms, for the design of a city fire station. Proposals from architects were opened and reviewed on Thursday and city staff's recommendation is based on the review of those proposals. Initial design drawings will be submitted to the city by June 1 in order to meet grant requirements.

The architect will assist the city in the design of a municipal fire station at the West Ward School property. The fire station is part of a future "City Facility Campus" that will include the police department along with city offices.

The designs for the fire station and selected architect are contingent on whether the city receives a grant from the Assistance to Firefighters grant program. About $210 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 will be used for grants to modify, upgrade or construct non-federal fire stations.

Projects submitted for the grants will be ranked according to weighted criteria, said McCook City Fire Chief Marc Harpham, with higher priority given to projects that are "shovel ready" or with property already available for the facility.

Also at Monday night's meeting, a public meeting will be conducted for public comment concerning the city's application to the Department of Economic Development for a Community Development Block Grant Neighborhood Stabilization program award.

The city is requesting $629,720 for demolition within city limits, with $605,500 for demolition-only activity and $24,220 for general administration activity.

After the hearing, the council will be asked to adopt a resolution authorizing the mayor to sign all grant-related documents for funds distributed by the Department of Economic Development through the Neighborhood Stabilization program.

The council also will convene two executive sessions, one for collective bargaining and another regarding pending and potential litigation with Terry Jessen and Bernard and Kathy Weaver.

At its Feb. 15 regular meeting, the council upheld the McCook's Health Board's decision that property owned by Jessen at 301 E. Second and the Weaver's property at 1306 West 12th were a public nuisance. The city filed a complaint March 16 in Red Willow County District Court that the properties were a nuisance and safety hazard.

Both Jessen and the Weavers have refuted those allegations in responses filed with the District Court.

The council will also be asked to approve an agreement to extend the time for a construction contract to be in place, for a sidewalk to be installed along B Street/U.S. Highway 6-34 to Wedgewood Drive.

The supplemental agreement will extend the contract between the city and W Design, from the original date of July 1, 2008 to the date when the construction contract is awarded, for preliminary engineering services concerning the inner loop portion of the McCook Walking Trail

As a consent agenda item, this can be approved with other consent agenda items in one motion or pulled for discussion by a member of the public or a council member.

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I hope the council will reconsider the building of a new fire house. They should wait until the old National Guard building becomes available. It would make a very fine facility. Some remodeling and it would be great. But, not now. We have to spend, spend, spend. When the city gets into money trouble, will they tax us again for their mistakes??????

-- Posted by edbru on Fri, May 1, 2009, at 11:29 PM

Good for the City of McCook! It's about time that we get McCooks finest into a new building. What a great addition to the community! AND while it will cost money for the city, they are working hard on grants and federal funding to help cover the majority of the costs. Build on!

-- Posted by some1 on Sat, May 2, 2009, at 10:24 AM

It sure is funny how some people always seem to have a better idea and don't know SQUAT about anything. The Guard building? Please edbru go tell me how the fire trucks will be able to get out of that place and go north at 8 in the morning? You must obviously sit in an easy chair with binders on! If the city can get grant money for a FIRE STATION and not a renovated armory what seems to be wrong with that?

-- Posted by McCook Supporter on Sat, May 2, 2009, at 11:39 AM

If I had blinders on, I wouldn't have suggested the Armory building. Let's see what the public opinion is in about three or four years.

No, I don't sit in an easy chair complaining. Just some thinking outside the box. One person's opinion.

If this turns out good, more power to them. If not, what then??? The stimulus package is not all what it is said to be.

-- Posted by edbru on Sat, May 2, 2009, at 7:00 PM

Please tell me McCook Supporter.

Seems lots of people dont know SQUAT about lots of things.

How do fire trucks get out of any building and on the street??? Don't they have lights and sirens and steering wheels???????

-- Posted by Just a reader on Sat, May 2, 2009, at 9:04 PM

First of all let me apologise for going a little overboard on my prior comments. Its just that this hits me personnaly as I am a past volunteer fireman and I get a little offensive when people don't support our firemen. I guess I'm maybe in the dark on the armory building and I'm looking for some help. Did someone say that the city was for sure going to get the building? If so, then I'm not totally against the fire department going there. I am just thinking that if my kids are walking or driving to school and there's fire trucks leaving what kind of problems will that cause. It seems that the traffic in that area during school would make the firemens response a little slower unless the traffic isn't as bad as it was a few years ago. Secondly is the cost of remodeling the armory and the cost of a new building. It may cost more to remodel the armory than the cost of a new building. If the city gets a grant to pay for the whole thing, why not build a fire station? As far as the spend spend spend part I don't think that is the case with a grant is it? Won't the grant pay for it? Lastly, I get a little offended when people don't want to support our local firemen. These are the people that will come and put their life on the line for you. Some are paid and most are volunteers. Why are we against them getting a new building? How long have they been in the current building? No one seems to complain about some of the other spendings going on in McCook such as the old Townhouse and I'm a supporter of that too. But when its the people that we are reling on to help us out in emergencies, I would think the least we could do is show them a little support in getting a new building.

-- Posted by McCook Supporter on Sun, May 3, 2009, at 11:44 AM

When it comes to fire stations, whether it is building one from scratch or refurbing an existing structure, there is no 'perfect solution'. Virtually any place you put it there is a potential traffic hazard.

Even the best location could pose a risk of some kind, and yes...that IS what those red lights and sirens are for. The thing to remember is that the best location is somewhere centrally located with easy access to major streets. But nobody really wants a firehouse as their neighbor. And, understandably, the fire department doesn't want to be stuck out on the edge of town.

The current location of the fire station/police department is probably the greatest risk of all; less than 100 feet from a busy railyard! I'm sure every time those firefighters look out the door and see 100+ tankers roll by, loaded with hazardous materials that would wipe them out if the train derailed, they probably cringe!

I feel confident with the choice of using the abandonded school location.

-- Posted by Justin Case on Mon, May 4, 2009, at 5:10 PM

There is no problem in supporting the fire dept. Neither in supporting our local law enforcement. This city in the past has made light of the vacant buildings in the city and want to, with the economic development funds, fill those vacancies. It would be good to get the empty buildings occupied again. Like the Keystone project.

My thoughts were that since the Armory and Reserve Center are getting a new building, the old Armory building could be remodeled into a fire station. That would leave one less building vacant in the city. It is a well built structure that would last a long time. It is in a prime spot for viewing most of the city. As far as children in the way, it wouldn't be as bad as the present location for traffic purposes. School is in session for nine months and certain times they are out of school.

This is like when the city wanted all the people in town to conserve on water usage. After a season of that, they raised our rates stating there wasn't enough water used to keep up the the costs of upkeep in the city water department. They couldn't say enough about conserving water to the public and then the rate increase came. Citizens were not happy at all about this.

My comment is to conserve the funds, use what is available, and not go to extreme with these funds. The Keystone might be a good risk to some, but not others. They could have torn it down and put up a new business office building. They chose to rebuild and remodel. Look at it as kids in a candy store. There eyes are wide and they want it all. Think about it......

-- Posted by edbru on Mon, May 4, 2009, at 5:31 PM


First you say:

"It would be good to get the empty buildings occupied again. Like the Keystone project."

then you turn around and say:

"The Keystone might be a good risk to some, but not others. They could have torn it down and put up a new business office building. They chose to rebuild and remodel. Look at it as kids in a candy store. There eyes are wide and they want it all. Think about it......"

I've thought about it and I've come to the conclusion that you must be conflicted about the Keystone project. So we should demolish the tallest building in town which is still structurally sound but needs remodeling and build a new office building? We then build a 3-4 story building with the same square footage that is required for this project and you think we'll save money?

You also make no mention of the fact that the Armory belongs to the State and the city has no say in how it is used. By the time you get through all the state bureaucracy and IF they agree to let the city use it then you've missed your deadline for submitting your project for funding and you have to have a site to submit a project. Otherwise, you're proposal lacks viability and it will be the first one up for rejection.

You're right, the city was in a tough spot. Ask people to conserve water so they could still supply the town with a reliable water supply but risk reduced water usage which would mean increasing rates to compensate for that loss OR let people continue using water at the current rate in hopes of maintaing water usage so rates don't need to increase but lose the ability to supply the city with a reliable water supply. Sounds to me like they chose the lesser of two evils. I don't think citizens would be too happy if they turned on their faucets and nothing came out.

-- Posted by McCook1 on Tue, May 5, 2009, at 10:28 AM

All I can say is to watch what happens.

-- Posted by edbru on Tue, May 5, 2009, at 7:58 PM

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