New Casper Fire Station Could Cost Between $14 to $23 Million
At the Casper city council meeting on Tuesday, the council heard Fire Chief Jacob Black talk about the work they plan on doing for a new Fire Station 1.
While an original estimate for the cost of the building in 2019 put it between $12 and $14 million, Black said that now due to inflation, the cost is now between $14.53 million and $23.32 million.
All four other fire stations have had a new building built, and Black said that station 1 is too old and not big enough for the needs of the fire department.
"It's an 11,000-square-foot building and there's no opportunity for growth. It's 46 years old, pre-cast construction and with that type of construction, it's very difficult to modify or expand," Black said. "In the last three years, we spent $254,000 in the station just to keep it up and going. During some of those renovations, we discovered asbestos and black mold, again indicating the age and the construction of the building. It still needs new windows, doors, garage doors, lockers, front-facing remodel, sewer line replacement, and a new rear parking lot. That's all part of this year's facilities assessment that came in close to $2 million that we're going to spend between now and 2027."
Reconstruction for Station 5 was the most expensive in 2019 at $3 million, compared to Station 3 in 2011 at $2.74 million.
Black asked the council for $1.56 million to begin the design process to decide what the building would look like and hoped the fire administration could be put in the same building as Station 1.
However, Vice Mayor Bruce Knell said that he thinks it would be much better if the fire administration were put in the recently purchased business center where the Casper Police Department plans to be located.
While Black agreed that it would be good to have the fire administration located in the police station, if something were to happen in the next 20 years, it would be good to have a backup plan.
Council member Steve Cathy said that they can avoid spending now but still be able to add administration in the future by buying a plot of land that could fit administration or by building it so that a second floor could be added.
Regarding the design process, the council thought it might be possible to use details from one of the previous four stations to save money on the design process.
City manager Carter Napier said he doesn't know at this time where the city would get the funding for a new fire station and that they plan to look deeper into that.
The council ended up not agreeing to spend any money now, but rather asked Napier to look into possible design plans and where the station could be located.