By Bill Short
The Millington Board of Mayor and Aldermen has unanimously adopted a resolution authorizing the city to purchase land for construction of a new fire station.
Board members took the action during their Feb. 12 regular monthly meeting on a motion offered by Alderman Thomas McGhee and seconded by Alderman Bethany Huffman.
Millington’s Capital Projects Plan for the 2018 fiscal year includes construction of a replacement for Fire Station No. 2 on Raleigh-Millington Road. And the city has determined that the best location for the replacement is adjacent to the existing station.
The resolution states that Millington has negotiated for the purchase of 2.002 acres from Turner & Edwards LLC for $8,600 an acre.
The contract will state that, after the new station is constructed on the acquired property, 1 acre currently owned by the city will be transferred to the seller.
During discussion shortly before the vote, City Finance Director John Trusty said the existing Fire Station No. 2 needs to be replaced, based on the “condition” of the building. He noted that the city will buy the parcel “immediately to the south” of it and construct a larger station.
Trusty said the city is paying “a lower cost per acre” to acquire that property, because the existing station is located on the acre that will be returned to the owner of the surrounding land.
The resolution authorizes Mayor Terry Jones, with the approval of City Attorney Charles Perkins, to execute any documents necessary to complete the property transfers.
During a telephone interview last week, Public Safety Director Gary Graves said the existing station was constructed in the late 1970s or early 1980s.
He noted that it was not designed to house the additional personnel and the “larger pieces of equipment” that the fire department now has. It is also not handicapped-accessible, and the parking area would need to be redone.
“It was going to be cost-prohibitive to remodel that station,” Graves acknowledged. “So, we opted to replace that one.”
He said the A2H architectural firm in Memphis will design the new station. Its floor plan, with some modifications, will be “modeled off” a station that the firm designed in Ripley.
Because the existing station has slightly less than 5,000 square feet, Graves said the new one will be more than twice as large at 11,598.
He noted that the new station will be “fully functional” with a kitchen and classroom space, as well as a “multipurpose” room for training or community meetings.
Its emergency facilities will meet “seismic standards” if an earthquake occurs. And it will have a “safe room” that meets the standards for other severe weather events.
The new station will also have a room equipped as a “backup dispatch center” for the police department, to provide another “answering point” for Millington residents who call 911.
Graves acknowledged that the design must be approved by the Millington Planning Commission, and the project will have to be advertised for bids.
He said A2H has estimated the cost at “anywhere from $1.9 to $2.3 million.” And approximately 53 weeks will be needed to complete the construction after it has begun.
By Bill Short