Fire Station Rendering, Design Shown to Beatrice City Officials

BEATRICE – Preparing for a public information effort on a proposed sales tax ballot question, the Beatrice Mayor and City Council heard a presentation Monday night on a design option for a new fire station that would be funded through the half-cent tax.

JEO Architect Corey Brodersen says the new station would be around 33,000 square feet.  The current fire headquarters in the Municipal Auditorium is 24,800 square feet, one-third of that for fire apparatus space.  The new station would include seven fire bays, two of which would be drive-through bays…providing about 14,000 square feet of vehicle space.

:13                  “be important”

City officials reviewed a design of the various parts of a proposed new station, along with a drawing of how the headquarters would appear.  JEO Architect Marvin Larson says the design represents the work of a special committee that included firefighters and others identifying specific needs.

:23                  “to eight-million dollars”

Larson said a key part of the design is to reduce the amount of time for firefighters to reach the apparatus area, from any part of the facility.

The new fire station would be a combination of brick masonry and other type of material, such as synthetic stucco…for longevity.  It would include higher windows within the vehicle bays to take advantage of natural lighting.

The station would include office space, conference area, firefighter living quarters, EMS, fire gear and air pack storage areas, dining, laundry and decontamination areas, along with an exercise room.  The design also includes a 40-by-57 mezzanine area that provides training space.

Mayor Stan Wirth says the next step is a public meeting process.

:13                  “complete, as possible”

City Councilman Ted Fairbanks says the public needs to know the whole cost of the project prior to voting on the half-cent local sales tax increase, the length of payment period, among other things.

:12                  “not, a surprise”

If approved, Mayor Wirth says there will be a negotiation process involved to acquire a site where the fire station would be located.

:13                  “to negotiate”

The city council recently approved the ballot question for the November General Election.  City Administrator Tobias Tempelmeyer says the ballot question will not list a specific dollar-figure.

:12                  “go away”

It’s been estimated a half-cent additional local sales tax would raise about one million dollars.  Fairbanks says for the issue to pass, it must be specific enough for voters.

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