By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
WYANDOTTE – The City Council unanimously approved a $2.5 million interior and exterior renovation of the central fire station, 266 Maple, to fix the historic building and end stop-gap repairs and patches.
City Manager Todd Drysdale said the project was being funded through an internal city loan.
Mayor Joseph Peterson said the renovations will extend the life of the fire station another 50 years, and saves taxpayers the cost of a new fire station.
“We are saving the citizens a lot of money by restoring this one,” Peterson said.
Drysdale said the city’s master plan originally looked at three options, with the other two being a new station for $3.4 million or a more extensive $3.1 million renovation of the existing station. He said the cost of a new station did not include the land for it.
Drysdale said in November 2016 the council approved the financing for the project, and the money was to be borrowed from the city’s internal accounts instead of selling bonds to have flexibility with the repayment terms.
“Although we want to be free of any obligations to the debt levy by 2026, if greater needs arise, then there is opportunity to change that internally,” Drysdale said. “You don’t have bondholders, you don’t have banks. You just have us, and we can manage that.”
Peterson said originally $2.4 million was budgeted for the renovation option, but the bids came in $600,000 over as the project was specified. Architect Tom Roberts was able to offer lesser cost renovation alternatives that would still give the building a longer, extended life.
The alternative renovation budget the council approved included $2.5 million for construction, plus $12,669 for concrete floors instead of asphalt to support the weight of 48,000 pounds of a water-filled fire truck, and $7,270 for sewer replacement.
Basement work would add an additional $3,749, with $3,500 for an exhaust system, $17,000 for new windows, $23,000 for roofing using an extremely durable synthetic roofing membrane, a $20,000 lighting package, and $750 for a drinking fountain.
Fire Chief Jeff Carley said that while the current fire pole has historical value and people on tours love to see it, a renovation would mandate it being brought up to OSHA standards, which would cost $3,500. He said new stations don’t typically include fire poles.
“The fireman’s pole has some historical value, but our current one can’t be used,” he said.
(Sue Suchyta can be reached at [email protected])