By Bill Short
The Millington Board of Mayor and Aldermen has unanimously adopted a resolution that increases the purchase price of land for construction of a new fire station.
Board members took the action during their May 14 regular monthly meeting on a motion offered by Alderman Don Lowry and seconded by Alderman Thomas McGhee.
At its Feb. 12 meeting, the board unanimously adopted a resolution authorizing the city to purchase the land.
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.
Millington had negotiated for the purchase of 2.002 acres from Turner & Edwards LLC for $8,600 an acre.
But the holder of the current owner’s financing on the property would not release the lien without a higher sales price of $12,500 an acre.
The resolution states that the higher sales price is less than the lender’s current appraisal for the entire parcel. And the city will only purchase a portion of it.
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.
City Finance Director John Trusty has said the existing Fire Station No. 2 needs to be replaced, based on the “condition” of the building. He has noted that the city will buy the parcel “immediately to the south” of it and construct a larger station.
Trusty has 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.
Public Safety Director Gary Graves has said the existing station was constructed in the late 1970s or early 1980s.
He has 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 has acknowledged. “So, we opted to replace that one.”
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 has 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 has acknowledged that the design must be approved by the Millington Planning Commission, and the project will have to be advertised for bids.
A2H has estimated the construction 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