Fire station project moves to phase one

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 1, 2000

Despite budget concerns, the City of Ironton is moving ahead with plans for a new fire station.

Tuesday, February 01, 2000

Despite budget concerns, the City of Ironton is moving ahead with plans for a new fire station.

Email newsletter signup

Friday, crews began the first phases of a demolition project that will include both of the houses adjacent to the fire station. The first house, which was torn down Friday and Saturday, has been vacant for several months. Firefighters used the structure as a training area until demolition could be scheduled.

City officials acquired the property last year in anticipation of the firehouse project, but prior to foundry and plant closures which have hurt the city’s income tax revenue-based budget. Demolishing the structure will keep plans on schedule, city officials said.

"This demolition is simply the next scheduled step in the project," Ironton Mayor Bob Cleary said. "The funds for this step were actually appropriated by council last year before Ironton Iron announced it would close."

Final plans for the one-story building are now nearing completion, Cleary said of the project, which already has been adjusted due to the budgetary problems.

"We do have a draft of the final plans for the new station," he said. "The next step in the process would be that the city will have to advertise for bids for the construction work and the materials. That will give us a much better idea of what the project’s overall cost is going to be."

The project originally was estimated to finish at about $400,000 over budget before the building was trimmed to one story.

Last winter, architects shaved about 2,200 square feet out of the building, from areas in the dorms and a public meeting room that would have served as additional training space, Cleary said. Costs also were cut by eliminating the elevator, which is not needed in a one-story building.

The new version also is estimated to come in slightly over budget, but city officials believe some estimates for material and labor were high and that the price will remain one the fire fee can handle without grant funding.

Ironton’s fire department has seen many signs of growth and development in the last year, including the arrival of a new aerial truck that is too large to be housed in the current, antiquated station. The truck is stored at the city garage, close to the location firefighters will be housed during construction of the new station.

While the city finance department and administration, as well as Ironton City Council Finance Committee, continue to work on this year’s permanent operating budget, the previously funded areas of the project will continue, Cleary said. The city also is still waiting to hear the judgment on Empowerment Zone-related grant funding that was applied for last year in an effort to alleviate some of the financial burden.

"We don’t anticipate any major problems with the project at this time," Cleary said. "Right now, we will continue with the project and will keep a very careful eye on expenses."