JACKSONTOWN – Licking Township Trustees recently unanimously awarded a $2,155,000 contract to Robertson Construction of Heath to build a new fire station for the Licking Township Fire Company.
The funds for the new station will come from estate taxes including a three million dollar windfall that trustees have been holding for some time. No receipts from the township’s fire/ EMS levies will be used.
Bids from six construction firms were opened last month. The base bid was for a five-bay station. There were two alternates with each adding an additional bay. Robertson submitted the lowest base bid at $1,956,000 as well as for both options. The base bid estimate from project architect JBA Architects was $1,850,000.
The other bidders were Charter Hill Construction, Jeffery Carr Construction, Paul Construction, RW Setterlin and WAI Construction. Base bids ranged from Robertson’s $1,956,000 to RW Setterlin at $2,370,000. For the seven-bay option that trustees selected after an lengthy discussions, bids ranged from Robertson’s $2,155,000 to RW Setterlin at $2,525,000.
Robertson will be the general contractor and its bid includes the cost of all the subcontractors. Construction is to begin on or before September 25 with a completion date of July 20, 2018.
The new station will replace the fire company’s Station 3 on Ohio 13 just north of ODOT’s District 5 headquarters. The current Station 1 which sits on the hill behind Station 3 will be used to store the township’s road equipment.
In November 2015, voters approved an additional three mill levy to provide 24/7 on-station staffing by a 886-598 vote. The new tax was first assessed in 2016 and collection started this year.
Fire Chief Mike Wilson explained the need for 24/7 staffing in 2015. He said the fire company had a total of 685 runs in 2002 when paid part-timers were first hired. In recent years, runs have averaged about 1,100 a year. This year the company set both monthly and daily run records – 118 in July and 12 runs on July 2.
The fire company has about 30 volunteers who have been filling the part-time slots. Wilson explained the increased runs along with work, training and family commitments was putting a tremendous strain on volunteers. Wilson will continue as the department’s only full-time employee.