ASH FLAT, AR (KAIT) – The Ash Flat Fire Department is still homeless, but the city is still trying to find ways to house its fire trucks at a reasonable price.
During last week's city council meeting, bids for the new station opened The low bid was $720,000, but the price is still far more than the city can afford; cost cutting discussions are ongoing.
According to Mayor Danny Traw, a building will be available in January that could be remodeled for considerably less than building a new station from the ground up.
We will continue to track this story and bring you the latest updates as they become available.
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ASH FLAT, AR (KAIT) - The Ash Flat Fire Department has to move to make room for the city's new library.
Remodeling is already underway to make a home for the incoming books, and unfortunately, no building is readily available to house the displaced trucks.
Fire Chief Stacy Horton says the move is inconvenient, but the fire department will get by.
The contractors for the library have already torn out the Police Station and Fire Department offices. But at the moment there are still trucks inside. The library received funding about 8 months ago, if the construction schedule is not adhered to they could lose that grant and the possibility of not getting any more for the city.
Horton, "We're going to have to move them out and find some locations to put those in order for us to have a good response time."
The department has 6 trucks of various sizes. Two of those trucks take up spaces in the city's garages. One is an older brush truck and the other is the new E-bay acquired Quint.
The city council will soon review bids to build a new station off Hwy 412. Delays in getting those bids have put the new construction or remodeling of a new building behind. Mayor Danny Traw says the council will decide what to do this coming Thursday night. But even if the bid is accepted this week, it could take a year or more before the new station opens. In the meantime, temporary housing for the trucks have to be made.
Traw, "The Fire Department will be where it's at. We are building a pole barn to put the fire trucks in that will have heat and stuff in it. For temporary shelter for them."
Horton says they will move equipment around so they will have a pumper inside for the paid-duty firefighters to access.
Horton, "We're going to arrange it to where we have 2 trucks in that bay for the man that's on duty and the city is going to build a pole barn off to the side over here that will house the trucks." The main bay will house 1 pumper and a smaller bay behind the living quarters will be enlarged to hold the Rescue/Brush truck.
When the new station is built the city will take over the pole barn and the current building where the quint lives in.
A new building could cost upwards of 350 - 400 Thousand dollars or more. If the bids are too high the city may have to look at remodeling a building already in the town.