City council moves forward on new fire station

The Picayune City Council got an update during last night’s meeting on the status of the new fire station that is planned at a site near the west end of Goodyear Boulevard.

Fire Chief Keith Brown asked for approval to approve moving forward with architectural services for a detailed design and cost for the new facility. Brown told the board that the building is estimated to cost approximately $500.000.00 once all the final numbers are in place including architectural and construction fees. According to Brown, that amount will be covered by insurance rebate funds from the state and the rest from cash reserves from the city.

Brown said that over a period of approximately seven years, the insurance rebate money would replenish the cash and thus the building could, in essence, be built at zero cost. Brown added that the rebate money fluctuates from year to year from around $50,000.00 to $82,000.00 annually, but he and City Clerk Amber Hinton both expressed they felt confident with the estimated payback of seven years to the city.

Brown told the council that in discussion with the architect, the plans call for the city to be able to advertise for bids in mid-August. Brown said the architect has changed to structure from a metal frame to a wood frame building, which brought concern from council members Larry Breland and Tammy Valente. Brown said that "the cost of steel has gone way up and the use of wood became more attractive due to cost". Also, he said that metal square beams take up a lot of floor space compared to wood beams.

After a short discussion, the council approve the request to move forward and instructed Brown to have two estimates prepared, one for a wood frame and one for a metal frame building so the council can determine which type they would like to construct.

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