New fire station and new fire stuff on the ballot in August? [Olympia City Council]

Almost every week this is the "What's on the city council's plate this week" review. I don't cover everything, so if you want the full rundown, read the packet and agenda yourself.

Will we be voting for a new fire station and a new training center in August? The city council could decide on Tuesday at their regular session.

The council will consider whether to put a $16.5 million dollar, 20 year levy on the ballot. The levy will pay for a ~$11 million fire station and new training center plus the needed new equipment (you know, trucks). Here's a general rundown from the staff report on the finances:

Election Cost is estimated at $40,000 which is not currently budgeted. Council goal monies could be a possible funding source. Current balance is $145,000.

Project cost $16.5 million in 2009 dollars through a citizen vote.

The impact of an excess levy on a $250,000 home assuming today’s interest rates and 2008 Assessed Value (AV) would be $53.55 per year for 20 years.

The fire station would be on the city's far eastern boarder, between Martin and Pacific on Lilly Rd. The training center would be just south of there, on Fones Rd and 5th.

Here is the entire plan for the training center.

The justification for the new station is obviously safety tied to response times, which are higher in NE Oly:

The Fire Department response time is currently 11 minutes 19 seconds City wide 90% of the time. In Northeast Olympia it is 12 minutes 5 seconds. Response time City wide is impacted by the fact that units are drawn to the high call volume area of the Northeast creating a void in the unit’s primary response district. Optimal response time for both fire and emergency medical incidents is 6 minutes 90% of the time as adopted by City Council. The goal is to intervene before a fire reaches flashover point, or a patient is no longer able to be resuscitated.

Though, Northeast Olympia times aren't that far off from the rest of the city, building the station now can prevent them from getting worse:

Failure to add a fire station and staffing will result in continued response time increases City wide. The result will be significant delays in the intervention of critical medical care resulting in increased suffering and death. Delays in the intervention of firefighters before flashover in structures will result in:

• larger fires
• additional risk to the firefighters
• use of more equipment
• loss of assessed value including possible business loss and significant impact on the environment through products of combustion released into the atmosphere
• increased fuel use and diesel exhaust in pumping at larger fires
• use large volumes of potable water to contain and extinguish the fires