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Fire station to rise at 'perfect' location

A unanimous vote at Wednesday night’s Bremerton City Council meeting means another new building for downtown, one that will offer protection to all the others planned for construction nearby.

Every member of the City Council voted to approve the the $550,000 purchase and relocation costs to build a new fire station at 811 Park Ave. That address may change when the fire station is built. However, its placement between Eighth and Tenth avenues means it could be readressed as 911 Park Ave., as city officials are hoping.

The project will be funded by an $800,000 interfund loan from the city’s equipment rental reserve fund to the public safety bond fund.

Plans are currently designed for a 1.1-acre parcel of land, though that figure may increase as architectural designs are settled.

“We’ve been told that 1.1 acres may not be of sufficient size,” city director of administrative services Kathy McCluskey told the Council Wednesday. The leftover $250,000 from the interfund loan could be used to purchase a larger piece of the land available on Park Avenue if it is necessary, to cover demolition costs for the property, loaned to other city funds in need or simply be returned to the equipment rental reserve fund.

“I think this location is just about perfect,” Councilman Will Maupin said at the City Council meeting.

“Having the main Bremerton fire station close to downtown is right where we want it to be,” Maupin explained later. “Ever since we started looking at it, that was my favorite location on Park down there.”

In addition to its proximity to downtown, Maupin praised the site for its wide streets, which will provide for smooth egress for fire fighting vehicles.

The interfund loan should be repaid in about two years, with much of the reimbursement coming from the sale of city properties.

One of these is fire station #1 on Pacific Avenue, currently used by the Bremerton Fire Department. Several parties have already expressed interest in the 75-year-old art deco-style building assessed at a value of $565,000.

The sales tax from the purchase of the building and subsequent B & O taxes garnered from a possible business operating at the location will help boost the city budget as well.

The City Council meeting was a night of several significant purchases for local emergency response providers; the Council also voted to approve the purchase of a 2003 ambulance and three new fire engines.

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