Picayune Fire Department seeking bids for new station

Published 7:00 am Saturday, July 22, 2017

Picayune’s Fire Department is now seeking bids to build a new station to replace the aging facility on Palestine Road.
A motion was approved by the City Council Tuesday to accept bids for the construction of the new facility, planned for construction at the end of Goodyear Boulevard.
Construction of the new 4,402 square foot facility should take place sometime this year. Of that footage, 2,809 would be for living quarters, 1,321 would accommodate the truck bay and the rest would be for porches in front and back of the building.
Fire Chief Keith Brown said he would have a better idea when construction will start once a bid is accepted by the Council. Brown estimates the work would start 30 to 60 days after a bid is accepted.
Before construction of the new facility can begin, work to demolish an existing structure and the concrete slab at the site needs to take place.
Brown said he can’t say what will happen with the building the station currently uses. Previously, representatives with the Pearl River County SPCA, which operates next door to the fire station on Palestine Road, have expressed interest in using the building for their services.
Both the old fire station and the SPCA building are on 16th section land, which means the buildings are leased by the city from the Picayune School District. District Finance Director Lisa Persick said the city has not made an indication whether it will continue to lease that property for use by the SPCA once the fire department moves out.
City Manager Jim Luke said discussions have not been had about the matter at this time.
He said that there’s still the possibility that the new station won’t be built if bids come in too high.
“Just don’t want to put the cart before the horse,” Luke said.
Brown estimates the cost to build the station they have planned to be about $350,000, which will include space for three firefighters, one fire truck bay and modern building standards that include a sprinkler system. Funding to build the station comes from fire insurance rebate money, so it won’t cost the taxpayers anything. Previously those funds have been used to purchase new fire trucks for the department, but Brown said the last of those bonds will be retired this year. Now those funds can be used to finance the new station.
Brown said the new station would allow the department to move out of the aging building on Palestine and upgrade to a more energy efficient building in a prime location of the city.

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