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Long-awaited firehouse project advertised for bid

City leaders advertised for bids today on Ironton’s long-awaited firehouse.

Thursday, June 21, 2001

City leaders advertised for bids today on Ironton’s long-awaited firehouse. Seeking actual construction amounts will take the guesswork out of how much the project’s first phase will cost, said Ironton Mayor Bob Cleary, who authorized the advertisement.

"I talked with all the council members about it, and once the bids come in it will be up to council to accept them," Cleary said.

The city had been speculating on construction costs per square foot, and needed actual numbers so that at least the equipment bays could be built as soon as possible, he said.

Bids will be accepted for general construction, plumbing, heating, ventilation and other work on a 5,000-square-foot masonry bearing fire station until July 26, according to the advertisement. Plans may be reviewed beginning Friday at the City of Ironton engineer’s office and other locations.

Firehouse construction has been debated at least since the city’s new ladder truck arrived in June 1999 – when the city sought grants, local funding and architect’s drawings. Plans were placed on hold this winter when the city’s budget took a blow from the closure of Ironton Iron, River Valley Health System and other businesses.

Recently, the project was broken into two pieces – an equipment bay portion and a living quarters portion on the current station lot.

"We have new equipment like the ladder truck, and we need to get everything under one roof," Cleary said.

If the bids look good, then the city might be able to house the trucks in new bays by this winter while continuing to use the current living quarters next door, he said.

Residents have registered complaints that the city bought a truck without a building in which to house it. (The ladder truck is being kept under roof elsewhere.)

That picture would have been different, though, if industries like Ironton Iron and RVHS had not left town or closed, Cleary said.

"I think people realize the fire fee, the way it was written three years ago, was adequate; but so much industry has left and that fee is based on industrial use of water, too," he said.

There is some reserve in the fire fee for the station project, and money collected from the fee maintains fire equipment and close to the level of firefighters the city needs, he said.

In the meantime, the city will continue its search for grants and other funding to complete the firehouse, Cleary said.