Facebook Twitter

Kaysville looks to expand fire station

SHARE Kaysville looks to expand fire station

If there was a major earthquake here, the heavy concrete and steel-laden roof on Kaysville's 30-year-old fire station would collapse, likely trapping most of the city's rescue and firefighting equipment.

However, that's not the only long-term worry for Kaysville Fire Chief Brett Larkin. He's also concerned about the lack of space and facilities in the current fire station at 85 N. 100 East, northeast of City Hall."That's just something we found out during an assessment," Larkin said of the quake danger. "We need more space. . . . We need it as quick as we can get it."

Kaysville is probably the largest city in Utah that still has both a part-time fire chief and an all-volunteer fire department. Larkin said a bigger station is needed to bring the city's fire department into a new era, consistent with its growing needs and population.

City Manager John Thacker agrees and said a fire station with five bays, instead of three is definitely needed.

Kaysville has purchased about an acre of land a few blocks south of its current location for the new station. That site is just east of RB's One Stop, off south Main Street on 100 South.

The city has money appropriated for a building design, but actual building funding is not yet approved. Larkin hopes that will come in the 1999-2000 fiscal year budget that the City Council will be planning early next year.

Thacker said he is concerned about the quake hazard. He said the station was properly built to the building codes of the 1960s but doesn't meet today's codes.

Larkin believes a new station could be constructed for just a little more than $1 million. He said the city currently has nine fire department vehicles but room to house just over half of them.

With the city growing so fast, Larkin feels it's also time to consider a full-time fire department. The city could cut its average response time of about seven minutes (the state average) in half, if it had full-time firefighters, he said.

Larkin said even Farmington City - half the size of Kaysville - has a full-time fire chief and some part-time firefighters. Kaysville also provides fire service to neighboring Fruit Heights, and so it serves of population of almost 27,000.

But an adequate fire station needs to come first, he said. The current station lacks kitchen facilities and a women's restroom. Its office space is split over both sides of the building and it has some electrical shortcomings. Room for a possible future ambulance service is also needed.

Larkin said the cost estimate just to shore up the old station's roof would be more than $100,000. A total remodeling and expansion project would cost as much as a new building.

Projections show the city can operate adequately with one large central city fire station. While Larkin is also worried about trains occasionally blocking the 200 North intersection to the city's west side, he doesn't foresee a fire substation ever being out west.

The city may install camera monitors at that train crossing, though, so firefighters will know if they need to use the Burton Lane overpass in an emergency.