ASHLAND -- Ashland City Council has taken another step towards the construction of its second fire station, a project which is now expected to break ground at the intersection of U.S. 42 and Mifflin Avenue in fall 2020.
Council passed legislation Tuesday evening allowing Mayor Matt Miller and the director of public service to enter a contract with Simonson Construction Services for pre-construction stage design-build services for the proposed fire station at a cost of $150,950.
“By the time this phase is done, we’ll know exactly what we’re building on a blueprint,” Mayor Miller said.
He said Simonson Construction pitched the “strongest proposal” for design-build services as the local company offered to modify the design as needed to fit within the city’s $3,025,000 budget.
At an earlier time, council had authorized the issuance and sale of bonds in this amount for the purpose of paying for the proposed fire station -- its acquisition, construction, equipment and other site improvements.
The legislation allows the mayor and director of public service to enter contract modifications for possible project contingencies that do not exceed 10 percent of the original contract amount.
In early May, council approved legislation allowing the fire department to function with one more captain at an additional cost of up to $7,500.
This allows the department to have seven captains, instead of the current six, but does not permit hiring a new employee. Rather in allowing the new captain role, one less firefighter role is permitted.
The position is being “reclassified,” and costs an additional $7,000 to $7,500, as captains are a higher paying role.
It’s believed a current firefighter will be promoted to the captain position, Miller said. It will prepare an individual to lead the new fire station at the intersection of U.S. 42 and Mifflin Avenue.
In other news at Tuesday evening’s meeting:
-- Ashland City Council approved $510,215 for what’s expected to be the last grouping of streets designated to be repaved this year.
This funding allows resurfacing projects to take place on Smith Road, Highland Boulevard, Cooper Drive, West 14th Street and a small portion of Wells Road.
These roads join a list that had already included the US 250 bypass, West 10th Street, East 8th Street, Union Street and another portion of Wells Road.
-- Council passed an ordinance allowing a contract modification with the Quality Masonry Company for the 16th East Main Building improvement project in downtown Ashland.
The project intended to improve the building’s facade will cost an additional $78.400. The funds cover unanticipated expenses that relate to stabilizing a wall and improving the look of one portion of the building.
On this particular portion of the building, Mayor Miller said, metal sheeting will cover “brick that isn’t in good shape.”
-- Council approved establishing a new part-time position at the city of Ashland Police Department to help recruit new officers.
The police department has a possible 32 full-time positions available, but currently only employs 29 full time officers. It’s been challenging for the city to reach its capacity.
With this new role, council hopes to provide the city’s police department with a “new tool” to attract additional men and women,” Mayor Miller said.
The new position called “Police Recruit” would pay 20 to 23 dollars an hour for 20 hours per week. It could be offered to an individual who is completing the police academy training.
It’d allow the department to build an early connection with a potential full-time employee.