The City of Kodiak will soon be seeking proposals from landowners for plots of land to build a new fire station, said Deputy City Manager Josie Bahnke at a City Council work session Tuesday.
The ideal location would allow for enough space to build a 17,000-square-foot facility, 1.5 and 2.5 acres total with a minimum depth of 200 feet and a minimum frontage of 250 feet along a major city street, stated the draft Request for Proposal. Additionally, the lot should be flat with a max slope from front to back and side to side of 10%.
The RFP will be released in September, and solicitations for the RFP will be accepted until November, Bahnke said.
Searching for a site location is just one part of the project’s pre-design phase, which also includes working with an architect on the facility programming, where the city will determine the building and user requirements, and set the scope of work, Bahnke said.
Bahnke said she estimates the pre-design phase to be completed by the end of the year.
“I like the idea of the RFP and having some professional assistance from an architect, rather than sort of cherry picking up lots around town that may or may not work,” council member John Whiddon said during the meeting. “I think, I’d at least like to cast a broad net right now and see what’s available.”
At Tuesday’s work session, the group spoke about creating an ad hoc fire station committee to oversee the programming process. The mayor and council members Charles Davidson and Richard Walker offered to be part of the committee.
Bahnke said in addition to them other members of the committee may include both fire chiefs, the city engineer and the city manager.
The ideal property for the new fire station would be one that the city already owns, so the city will not have to spend more money, council member Terry Haines said.
“Nobody wants to spend an inordinate amount of money we don’t have. The council is being very conscientious of location and cost so we don’t overbuild or build something we can’t afford,” Whiddon said on Friday. “But at the same time, we want to build for today and 25 years in the future.”
There are many reasons why the station is being rebuilt. One reason is that the station sits on a tsunami inundation zone. Additionally, the building has a failing electrical system, structural issues, and ceiling leaks, said Kodiak Fire Chief James Mullican on Friday.
The building also suffered significant damage during the magnitude 7.9 earthquake that hit 175 miles southeast of Kodiak in January 2018, Whiddon said.
Whiddon also pointed out the necessity of having a fire station near areas such as Shelikof Street and Marine Way where the canneries are located.
In that area there is a huge concentration of highly flammable ammonia, he said. The fire station would have to be built on a property that would allow for optimal response time.
Although the city would prefer to build on land they already own, they are open to looking outside city limits, Whiddon said.
Although Bahnke could not estimate the cost for the entire project, she estimated the cost of the pre-design phase at around $20,000. The funds for this project will come from a legislative grant that currently has $69,000.