MANTECA – Manteca’s fifth fire station will soon be a reality.
The Manteca City Council on Tuesday is expected to approve a $4.5 million agreement with CT Brayton & Sons to finish the remaining design and construction of the fire station on the northwest corner of Atherton Drive and Woodward Avenue.
The fire station is expected to be completed in mid-2020.
The Escalon-based firm was selected from four proposals. They built both fire stations within the City of Ripon as well as the Modesto Junior College Regional Training Facility.
The area the station will serve includes more than 2,600 homes in rapidly growing southeast Manteca that is currently outside of the targeted 5-minute response time the city targets for optimum results in medical emergencies and fires. There are also 466 apartment units in the response area as well as 27 rural homes that have been brought into the city via annexations. In addition there are 600 homes now under construction or moving toward being built as well as a 150-unit apartment complex that will be completed in 2019. The area also includes at least 488 proposed homes.
In a March report to the City Council, Fire Chief Kyle Shipherd noted the department is on track to surpass 1,000 calls for service this year in the area generally east of Main Street and south of the 120 Bypass. By 2020 that number is expected to exceed 1,250 a year. Of the 1,000 calls expected this year, 300 are on the 120 Bypass and Highway 99 corridors that would be within the station’s assigned coverage area.
The 6,711-square-foot station is being built on land on donated 14 years ago by AKF Development.
In late 2016 the station had a $2.7 million price tag. Back in March, that figure was updated to $5 million. Once the cost of a consulting firm to oversee construction is factored, the new station will cost $4.65 million. Construction engineers are forecasting costs for buildings such as fire stations and schools that must meet stringent earthquake standards will soar between 6 and 10 percent annually over the next two years. Not only is construction activity overall on the upswing but a number of school projects are now competing for qualified contractors throughout the state. That means waiting two years would have pushed the project past the $6 million mark. A $1 million plus gain in costs would easily wipe out any new gains in the government building facilities fee fund the city would collect from growth during the same time frame.
The City Council opted to go ahead with the project even though they have not collected enough fire fees from new growth to cover the costs. To avoid generating any general fund debt — the city has none at the moment — $1.7 million will be borrowed from the city’s development fee account where the bonus bucks that were collected for sewer allocation certainty are held. The money will be repaid to the development agreement fee account with interest as growth fees are collected. The project will wipe out the $2.8 million left in the government facilities fees account after city drew it down to build the animal shelter and vehicle maintenance facility in recent years.
The design is being done in template fashion so it can be used for future stations including the sixth station expected to be built in southwest Manteca in the general vicinity of the Woodward Avenue and McKinley Avenue intersection.
The station features a basic “L” design with four dorm rooms, two officers, living area, exercise area, task specific rooms and bays designed to accommodate larger apparatus than the standard fire engine company if need be.
The city already has firefighting manpower in place that would allow it to staff the station, once it is opened 24/7 with a two-man rescue squad as they did when the Lathrop Road at Del Webb station opened in September of 2013 at a cost of .3.2 million. That station has 7,173 square feet and includes a community meeting room.
The fourth station when it opened was staffed by a three-man engine when the department was at full manpower but when it wasn’t the two-man rescue squad was stationed there instead of with an engine company at the Union Road station. Within several years, Manteca was able to support a three-man engine at the station.
Even if manpower allowed for initially only have a two-man rescue squad stationed at Atherton-Woodward it would be a major improvement in service. Nearly 90 percent of the department’s annual calls are medical emergencies.
That is a significant improvement as the future service area of the station will have more than 3,000 housing units outside of the 5-minute response time the city targets for optimum results in medical emergencies and fires.
A fully equipped engine for the station will cost in excess of $500,000.
The City Council meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.