Craig Fire District continuing with 2nd station plans | CraigDailyPress.com

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Craig Fire District continuing with 2nd station plans

Todd Ficken, of F&D International, speaks Monday with Craig Rural Fire Protection District officials. The fire district is looking into the feasibility of building a second fire station south of The Memorial Hospital in Craig.

Chris Nichols, a Craig Rural Fire Protection District Board member, emphasized a point early in Monday's workshop discussion on a proposed second station for Craig Fire/Rescue.

The project, he said, is in the exploratory stage right now.

"All the work we've done to this point of going to the (Colorado Northwestern Community) College Board and The (Memorial) Hospital Board is just the preparation of checking the feasibility," Nichols said. "We haven't gone much further than that."

The site of the proposed second station is south of hospital property belonging to CNCC.Niwot-based F&D International is managing the first phase of the potential second station project.

There was additional progress on the project at Monday's workshop.

Fire board members Nichols and Byron Willems, along with fire chief Bill Johnston and battalion chief Dennis Jones, authorized F&D International Executive Director Todd Ficken to send out requests for proposal on a geotechnical investigation and first phase environmental site assessment of the property.

Fire officials asked Ficken to bring proposals to the next fire board meeting, scheduled for April 21 at the fire station, 419 Yampa Ave.

Nichols said that while the work group can approve the process of sending out requests for proposal, any expenditures, including accepting bids on the project, will require approval from the full fire board.

Ficken said that ideally he would get multiple responses for each assessment.

"I hope to have responses on those two requests for proposals," Ficken said. "The ideal thing would be to get a couple of proposals for each of them so that the board has a selection."

Johnston said discussions on the bids would be held in executive session and a decision would be made in public session. He also asked Ficken to make sure local companies that offer those testing services are contacted.

Ficken also suggested requests for proposal be put together for bids on the design of the proposed station.

"The next step is saying, 'We have this concept, now maybe we need to bring an architect in and get the concept to be more construction drawings,' move toward that level of detail," Ficken said.

Ficken gave fire officials information on two possible approaches to the project — design-build and design-bid-build.

Fire officials opted for the latter, which includes contracting an architecture and engineering firm to create construction plans and then bidding the job out to construction companies.

The design-build approach, Ficken said, would involve a combined architectural and construction company handling the entire project.

Ficken told fire officials the design-bid-build approach allows for more public input.

He said proposals for the design step will not be ready by April 21.

"I have no idea what the timing is," Ficken said. "I've got to write it and ask them again if they're ready to solicit proposals. It could be a while."

F & D International was awarded project management in June 2010, according to fire board records.

The board stipulated a maximum of $18,500 be paid to F&D International for the first phase of the project. To date, the fire board has paid $11,106.84, which includes services related to the project and travel costs, according to records.

According to the fire district, the project is intended to stay within the district's budget, using money from a voter approved mill levy in 2006, and would require no new tax increases.

Nichols said part of the exploratory process currently underway is to find out information that will impact the price of construction bids. He said the geotechnical and environmental test results would still be applicable if the board chooses not to proceed with construction.

"These (tests) are just laying the ground to see if we can come up with a reasonable budget," Nichols said.

"If we decide not to build this now, the soil testing will still be able to be used down the road."

The proposed second station, when completed, would include four bays for vehicles, living quarters for firemen and an education room with stadium-style seating.

Additionally, it would feature several training elements including a live fire training building and a five-story tower for physical training.

Fire officials spoke with the hospital board in January about the project.

Ficken said at that meeting the department hoped to broker a land transfer from CNCC to acquire the property.

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