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The initial design concepts will be more fully developed after the vote. The design development process will continue through the winter. We would anticipate opening the project to bids from general contractors in early 2024 so construction can begin in spring 2024. The project should be complete by fall 2025.
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To better serve and protect the citizens of Burlington, the city has identified the need for a third fire station on the city’s northwest side at 2100 North Roosevelt Avenue. The station, which will house up to 5 firefighters, a single fire truck, and an ambulance, will allow both firefighters and EMS to meet the national standard for response times throughout the city.
A four-minute response time for an emergency dramatically improves outcomes for both fire suppression and cardiac resuscitation. The new station will provide service to an area of the city currently outside of the four-minute response coverage. It will also allow other units to stay in their districts, which will improve our overall ability to respond to emergencies throughout the city. An on-site burn tower will also allow us to train firefighters in safe and controlled conditions.
The overall goal of Station 3 is to improve fire and EMS service delivery by decreasing response times in the underserved areas of Burlington, specifically the northwest side. Since October 2018, the Burlington Fire Department has operated an ambulance-only, “temporary” Station 3 at 3400 Mt. Pleasant Street in Burlington. When placing stations, the goal is to strategically locate fixed facilities (fire stations) to ensure the department can meet the established travel time benchmark (4 minutes or less, 90% of the time).
Yes. Several factors were considered when deciding on the site. Response time was the key factor. We also considered lot size, availability, and cost.
Our primary goal was to improve response times within the city of Burlington. It will benefit citizens of West Burlington and rural Des Moines County, but this was not why the site was selected.
The estimated cost is $8,006,250. This cost includes both the new 10,600-square-foot station and a fire training tower. Cost estimates for the new station are around $7,000,000. The city plans to use general obligation bonds as the primary funding source to pay for the cost of the station. Because a bond is repaid using property tax levy funds, 60% of voters would need to approve the question on the ballot on November 7 in order for the city to be able to take on the debt to build the new station.
The bond will be repaid with funds generated by an increase to the property tax levy rate.The proposed increase is $0.63 for every $1,000 of taxable property valuation. The final debt service tax increase will depend on alternative funding such as grants, donations, and other city dollars allocated for the project. The final taxable value of your property is a percentage of its assessed value after credits. The median assessed residential value in Burlington is $97,084. For a home valued at $100,000, property taxes will increase $27.78 a year or $2.32 per month.
Burlington’s new fire station will be built to last 75 or more years. It is an investment in our community’s future. Durable and structurally sound products such as steel, masonry, and precast have higher initial costs, but are more economical in the long-term when considering durability, maintainability, sustainability, operating costs, and the ability to withstand storms and high winds.
Security and safety: By state code, all new fire stations must include a storm shelter. The station will be constructed with durable materials that will withstand storms. A less structurally sound building, such as one constructed from prefabricated metal, is more susceptible to storm damage, potentially hindering emergency responses when they may be needed most.
Training: The structure of the new building includes a mezzanine level in the apparatus bay that will allow for training simulations.
Energy efficiency: The new building is designed to utilize natural light. It will also have a tight exterior envelope that will reduce air leaks. Both of these factors will reduce energy costs.
Attracting talent: Attracting and retaining talented firefighters is easier when the city demonstrates an investment in the department by providing a space they are proud to work in. There is also a real cost associated with staff turnover when we lose firefighters to neighboring departments.
Aesthetics: When our architects asked us what we wanted the station to look like, we told them we wanted a building that represents and is a reflection of the Burlington Fire Department’s stellar service. We want this building to demonstrate the pride we have in our city, its residents, and our public servants. We hope it will set an example for future development in the area and the city overall.
Firefighter health: According to the National Fire Prevention Association, cancer, and cardiac arrest are the leading killers of firefighters. The new fire station is designed with the health and wellness of our firefighters in mind. Burlington has a full-time fire department, which means our firefighters live in our stations. The new station needs to be a place where they can relax and recharge between calls. It is challenging to control sound in metal buildings, which affects the firefighter’s sleep.
For this project we have hired DCI as our construction managers. They are seasoned contractors with extensive experience working on similar projects in Iowa. They will work with the city and the architects to ensure the project is on budget.Throughout the design process, there will be regular cost estimates, each with more detail that help the design team and city stay aligned with the budget.
The city is not allowed to bond beyond the amount approved by voters. Of course, anyone who has ever taken on a construction project no matter how big or small knows that there are always unforeseen costs. In the architecture and construction industry, these are called contingencies. A contingency budget is built into the overall budget. Typically, at this point in the project, this is around 20% of the total project budget. This means that our budget is built to be flexible to accommodate unforeseen situations.
Fire Chief Matt Trexel
Phone: (319) 753-8396 Option #4