Sun City Fire and Medical District residents will have a chance to see plans for the new fire station during a public open house.
The event is scheduled 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 23 in the Youngtown council chambers, 12030 Clubhouse Square. The town hall will allow residents to see preliminary plans for the station, information on its cost and a potential timeline for construction.
District voters approved $10 million in bonds to fund the station’s construction, to replace aging equipment and complete deferred facility repairs. Sun City fire officials estimate the station construction would cost about $6 million. The majority of the remainder will be used to purchase two new firefighting apparatus.
“This will give people the opportunity to see what we have planned,” said Mike Thompson, Sun City fire chief.
The new station will be built on the northwest corner of 111th and Michigan avenues in Youngtown, just a few blocks north of the existing Station 133, 13013 N. 111th Ave., Sun City.
The existing station, housed in a building designed to resemble a home, is crowded and outdated for the fire department’s needs. The structure, originally built by the Del Webb Corp. in the early 1960s, also does not meet modern building codes, according to Mr. Thompson. The station’s one truck bay takes up about 50 percent of the building’s footprint.
“You can’t really spread your elbows,” said Rich Rivas, Sun City firefighter. “Even the bunk rooms are cramped.”
Ron Deadman, Sun City assistant fire chief, said district officials decided to sell the bonds all at once rather than in small increments over time.
“By selling them all at once, we can lock in the existing interest rate, rather than get varied rates in different years,” he explained. “We could save as much as $1 million over the life of the bonds.”
District officials also heard from Stifl, the district’s bond consultant, that the expected interest rate for the bonds will be 2.13 percent.
“That will be good for sale of the bonds,” Mr. Thompson said.
Building the station, on a property that was the former home of a bar/restaurant, will create some parking issues, as some drivers have used the lot as a parking area once the old building was demolished. They have continued to park along the exterior after fire district officials fenced the property.
“Once construction starts and when the building is complete, that parking won’t be available,” Mr. Thompson said. “Youngtown officials are working on some options to address that parking issue.”