By Conrad Dudderar
A third Yukon fire station would cost an estimated $4.2 million to build and require buying new apparatus and hiring more firefighters.
Those were key points of a recent presentation made to a City of Yukon advisory panel.
Constructing a new fire station in southwest Yukon would “meet the needs” of Yukon’s current and future populations, Yukon Fire Chief Shawn Vogt said.
Vogt cited the “future growth” predicted in the area of Frisco Road and Interstate 40 along with the “current growth” of the commercial district around Garth Brooks Boulevard and I-40.
A primary benefit of a “fire station three” would be improved response times to Yukon’s current commercial district and future areas of development.
The Yukon Capital Project Advisory Board received the proposal for the third fire station during its April 14th meeting inside the council chambers of the Centennial Building, 12 S 5th.
The advisory board was formed to make recommendations to the Yukon City Council on what capital improvement projects to include on a possible ballot.
Proposed election dates are this August or next January. Potential funding options are a sales tax and/or ad valorem (property tax) increase.
The Yukon Fire Department’s headquarters (station one) is at 1000 E Main on Yukon’s east side. Fire station two, 302 S 5th, is near downtown in central Yukon.
But much of the City of Yukon’s growth over the past 20 years has been to the south and west.
Yukon’s fire chief provided an “example building layout” for a 7,000-8,000-square-foot fire station with two apparatus bays.
“If we decided to move forward, we would come up with our own design of what best fits us for our current needs and future needs,” Vogt said.
Estimated construction cost for a new fire station is $4.2 million.
Related expenses would be buying an estimated $1.5 million ladder truck and $750,000 engine.
The location of a possible third Yukon fire station – and the land cost – are unknown. The City of Yukon may have to acquire land to build a new station.
The only City of Yukon-owned property on Yukon’s west side is 184.5 acres near the southwest corner of Main Street and Frisco Road that previously was proposed for a sports park.
Some 600 feet of the east frontage is designated for commercial development in a tax-increment financing district.
If Yukon built a new fire station, Chief Vogt said at least nine “additional personnel” – three firefighters per shift – would be needed to staff the facility. Other expenses would be protective clothing and uniforms.
Estimated annual personnel costs and protective clothing – totaling $837,000 – would be paid through the City of Yukon’s general fund and/or Public Employees Sales Tax (PEST) account.
FORMER MAYOR ADDRESSES BOARD
Longtime Ward 2 resident Ward Larson said he’s “strongly in favor” of building a fire station in Yukon’s new commercial area.
A former Yukon mayor and city council member, Larson said buying another ladder truck “would be justified” since there already are several four-story hotels along Garth Brooks Boulevard.
A new fire station in southwest Yukon would increase coverage that could improve that area’s insurance rating, he added.
“With that additional location, it would become more attractive for more commercial business in that area,” Larson said.