Council zones land for fire station, votes for bond

  • Thursday, February 20, 2014

Stefan Rogenmoser/Gazette The new Goose Creek Fire Department substation is expected to be silimar to this existing substation across from Stratford High School.

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Goose Creek City Council is two steps closer to building two new fire stations.

Land for a substation off Old Mount Holly Road was rezoned in a second and final reading at council’s Feb. 11 meeting.

The zoning has been changed from the default conservation open space that all newly purchased land is classified as, to general commercial zoning so it can be used to build a new substation for the Goose Creek Fire Department.

The other public hearing at the Feb. 11 meeting was in regard to the city borrowing money to build the new fire department headquarters (at Button Hall Avenue) and substation. The first reading of this hearing passed unanimously.

A second hearing was set to be held at a special council meeting Tuesday night.

The title allows the city to borrow $7,000,500. The city currently has $5.8 million in the bank for the project.

Citizen Joel Arenson asked about the length of the mortage.

Mayor Michael Heitzler said it is a 15-year mortgage.

“As we sit here tonight we are a debt-free city,” Heitzler said. “As of March 1 we will be in debt $7,000,500 to build two beautiful new fire stations to keep our community safe.”

In City Administrator Dennis Harmon’s report he said there were six bids for the fire stations, and that the city recommends the lowest bid of $13.1 million to the China Construction Company, based in Columbia.

This does not include the cost of the architectural design work. The fire stations were initially expected to cost $11.5 million to build.

Thomas & Denziger Architects, who are designing the fire stations, also recommended the same construction bid, Harmon said. The same architecture firm also built the current fire substation and the Marguerite H. Brown Municipal Center. The new fire stations are expected to be built in a similar style.

“These are going to be very durable and beautiful buildings,” Heitzler said. “It’s something we’re going to be proud of. It will increase property value.”

• In other business, council voted to approve the city’s recommendation to purchase eight Dodge Chargers for the Goose Creek Police Department at a total price of $188,194 from a dealer in Beaufort. The cost and vehicles were included in the 2014 budget.

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