Daphne approves funding for new fire station

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DAPHNE – The city of Daphne is moving forward with plans to build a fifth fire station to serve the southeast area of the municipality.

The Daphne City Council voted Jan. 6 to approve $856,500 to pay the remaining cost of the station, which will be located on Milton Jones Road west of Alabama 181.

The council voted in December to accept the bid of Termac Construction to build the new station. Termac’s bid was about $1.6 million. All submissions were much more than the amount budgeted for the project, Councilman Ron Scott said.

“We had set aside $900,000 from a bond refinancing benefit and we were hopeful that was good enough, but when the bids came back, sticker shock, it was like $1.7 million,” Scott said. “This is the initial dollars in order to create that fire station.”

The $900,000 was from money saved by refinancing city bonds at a lower interest rate, according to reports.

The station costs also include $59,560 for the architectural design and civil/site.

The money will be transferred from the Daphne General Fund to the Capital Reserve Fund and added to the 2020 city budget, according to the ordinance approved Jan. 6.

In an earlier statement, Councilman Doug Goodlin, whose district includes the area where the new station will be built, also said the facility is needed, even though the cost was more than expected.

“It’s long overdue.” Goodlin said in December. “We had a little sticker shock. We were expecting this to come in around $950,00 to $1 million and it came in at $1.6 million, but the necessity of this is too much to not go forward at this time and we had multiple bidders so the market is booming, wages are up, which is a good thing but it means bids are going to be higher.”

Scott said that while construction costs have gone up since the station was first proposed and budgeted, the facility is needed to accommodate growth in Daphne.

“The neighborhoods out to our south and east now include Old Field, Bellaton, Dunnmore and new Jubilee Farms and this will provide much needed fire protection for that area,” Scott said.

Daphne’s other fire stations include Station 1 and the training facility at 25250 Bailey Yelding Jr. Drive, Station 2 and the administrative center at 28280 N. Main Street, Station 3 at 8945 Lawson Road and Station 4 at 30150 Green Court. The department also has a Volunteer Station and Search and Rescue Center at 30150 Green Court and a Bureau of Fire Prevention office at City Hall.