South Boston Town Council at its Monday meeting gave the town the green light to start construction on an addition to the South Boston Fire Department at 403 Broad St.
Construction is set to begin Jan. 27. The estimated construction time is 210 days.
The town council unanimously voted to approve a contract between the town and J.E. Burton Construction Co. in the amount of $1,331,485 for the project. Councilman Winston Harrell made the motion, and Councilman Michael Byrd seconded the motion.
“It’s going to be a nice addition,” said town manager Tom Raab. “The previous building was finished in 1974. We’re looking at all kinds of ways to improve, so hopefully this [newly improved facility] will last another 50 years.”
Plans for the expansion detail a four-bay garage, four sleeping quarters, three offices and two shower facilities spread among 7,300 square feet. Larger bay doors are also in the plan — 14 by 14 feet compared to the current 12 by 12 foot bay doors.
“The fire trucks are getting bigger and we don’t have room where we are now. We’re even parking one truck sideways,” Raab said. “This addition will give us room to open up our facilities a little better.”
The expansion also will allow fire trucks to enter the garage at the rear of the building off Fenton Street and pull through the station, instead of having to back into the station from Broad Street when returning from a call.
The addition not only will provide much-needed extra space for the department’s fire trucks, but it will also address safety issues.
The firefighters’ sleeping quarters are currently on the second floor, and that could pose a safety issue if they receive a call waking them in the middle of the night and they have to scurry down a flight of stairs, Raab said.
The addition places the sleeping quarters on the ground floor, freeing up the old second-floor sleeping quarters for other uses by the department.
The renovated fire department will not need a sprinkler system because of the creation of a sufficient fire barrier between the office space and barracks, a $4,800 addition to the project recommended by the building official.
The contract approved by council at Monday’s meeting is $72,700 less than the $1,404,185 initial bid received from J.E. Burton Construction Co.
In a November work session, town council directed Raab to work with the contractor and architect to identify cost-saving measures.
The omission of a new generator, controls and upgraded electrical service reduced the project cost by $65,000.
Other cost-savings measures include reducing the width of trench drains from 10” to 6”, reducing the roofing insulation value from R-38-R-30, and using clear epoxy instead of colored epoxy on the garage floor.
In addition to approving the fire department construction project, council reviewed the 2018-2019 annual financial report, presented by Steven Gay, Harris, Harvey & Neal, CPA, and the monthly financial report, presented by town finance director Mickey Wilkerson.
The town’s delinquent personal property taxes as of Nov. 30 were $68,414, 64% of the target amount in the budget, Wilkerson noted. As of today, that number is up to 71%.