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Finance committee weighs station bills

Ironton Finance Committee will recommend moving ahead with plans for a new fire station without grant funding confirmation.

Tuesday, August 17, 1999

Ironton Finance Committee will recommend moving ahead with plans for a new fire station without grant funding confirmation.

Ironton’s fire fee committee this month accepted a new, scaled-down version of the Ironton Fire Department’s future home that trimmed 2,200 square feet from the structure and made it a one-story floor plan.

Officials made these changes to cut back on estimated costs, which ran well over the originally projected $1 million price tag. The fire fee revenue would have covered that cost.

"The architects have done everything we’ve asked them to do, and we are on schedule as far as the timeline," Cleary said. "But we’re in a position where we can’t wait any longer for word on grant funding, so we had to look at a way to scale back."

At Monday’s finance committee meeting, council and committee members agreed that the project should move forward so city officials will have a more accurate idea of construction costs.

"The architects have estimated high," city engineer Joe McCallister said. "But, we won’t know what the exact costs are until we go out to bid."

Instead of going an estimated $400,000 over budget, as the original plans and pricing estimate indicated, the new floor plan is much more reasonable, although still slightly over budget with the current estimates, Cleary said.

If grant funding does not come through and the estimates remain at the current level even after bids are awarded, the city might have to put the station on hold, council chairman Jesse Roberts said.

"They have not gotten anything wasted in that building; there are no fancy things that they didn’t need or that we can’t use," Roberts said. "I don’t know how we’re going to pay for it, and I’m not even sure if we can afford it right now, but there’s a possibility that the grant funding will come through and we’ll actually come out ahead. We need a new fire station, there’s no question about that, so we have to move forward now and wait and see what happens with the grants."

The need for a new station will not outweigh budget concerns, however, finance committee chairman Joe Black said.

"We have to work under budgetary constraints, obviously," Black said. "But we don’t want to short change the department or the city, so we have to continue with the project and keep our options open."