Ground Breaking Set for North Fire Station

Murray Ledger & Times
Monday, August 25, 2014
Hawkins Teague/Staff Writer

After years of planning, the City of Murray is finally ready to break ground on a new fire station on the north side of town.

The groundbreaking ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. Thursday at the site of the future north station at 2075 U.S. 641 North next to Holmes Restaurant and  Woodcrafter’s Galleries. City Administrator Matt Mattingly said construction should begin the first week of September and is estimated to take about seven months to finish.

Mayor Bill Wells said he was a city council member when the city purchased the land for the north station almost eight years ago. He said the station was needed to provide more fire protection for a growing city population, adding that the 2010 U.S. Census showed Murray as being one of Kentucky’s fastest-growing cities.

Murray Fire Department Chief Eric Pologruto noted that the plans for the station had started long before he started as chief in January 2011. He said lowering the response time for fire calls on the north side would be a great benefit to residents there.

“I’m not sure if the citizens fully understand the difference between a low response time compared to a longer response time,” Pologruto said. “It directly correlates to saving someone’s life and property if you can shorten that response time. Really, that’s the main thing here, is what it’s going to do for our citizens for fire protection.”

The city’s long-term plan is to complete construction of the north fire station toward the end of March 2015 and begin construction on the Public Safety Center that would house the police and fire department headquarters on North 16th Street in November 2014 after taking bids in late October, Mattingly said. That project is currently scheduled for completion around January 2016, he said.

The station that is currently Fire Station No. 2 will be demolished after the Public Safety Center is finished, and a third fire station will be then be built near the intersection of KY 94 West and Robertson Road to serve the southern end of the city, Mattingly said. The southwest station will be identical to the north station.

In May, architect Craig Thomas with RBS Design Group of Owensboro presented an estimate to the city council estimating the north station to cost $2.037 million for construction, contingency, soft costs and miscellaneous items. The cost of construction itself was estimated at that time to cost $1.75 million, although Thomas told the council that costs could vary by as much as 20 percent because of price fluctuation within the industry such as the project’s size, degree of difficulty, schedule, location, economic climate or other factors.

Princeton Lumber Company bid $2,007,500 on the north station, and the council voted to hire them for the job at their last meeting on Aug. 14.

“RBS has talked with Princeton Lumber Company, and they’re excited about the project and I know they’ll do a nice job,” Wells said.

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