March 1, 2012 in Washington Voices

Valley Fire finds funds to fill Station 6 shortfall

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Spokane Valley Fire Department commissioners voted Monday to change the 2012 budget to account for a higher-than-expected cost to tear down and rebuild Station 6 on Sprague Avenue near the west end of the Spokane Valley.

The low bid from BN Builders was $1.5 million. Most of the bids came in higher at $1.7 million and $1.8 million. Staff looked at different ways to make up the $312,000 difference between the low bid and construction estimates, including cutting programs or taking the entire amount from department reserves, said Chief Mike Thompson. Doing nothing to the 50-year-old station “didn’t seem to be a viable option,” he said.

Thompson said he recommended taking $150,000 from reserves and $162,000 from the commissioner’s contingency fund, which is routinely used for unexpected or one-time expenses. The commissioners voted unanimously to follow Thompson’s advice.

Deputy Chief Larry Rider said he will look at alternative types of fencing and roofing to try to save between $30,000 and $50,000. “We’re going to try and push the price down where we can,” he said.

The construction bid includes $8,000 to clean up a small area of land next to the station that is owned by the Washington State Department of Transportation. A fence will be removed, the site will be graded and it will be seeded with wildland grasses, Rider said.

“We’re trying to be good partners with the city and make that look nice,” Thompson said.


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