Tuesday, October 23, 2012

TOP STORY >> Cabot to build fire station

Leader staff writer

Construction is expected to start next summer on a fire station on Hwy. 5 in Cabot that is needed to protect the residents in that area and to hold the cost of their home insurance down.

Mayor Bill Cypert told a committee of council members earlier this month that the city has about $350,000 saved specifically to begin the $1.2 million facility in June 2013. The balance will come from city savings over the one-year construction period.

If the city council approves the mayor’s proposed 2013 budget in November, $448,315 from city savings will be used in 2013 to fund construction of the $1.2 million facility and the balance, about $400,000, will be spent in 2014.

City officials learned in 2006 that Cabot had outgrown its fire protection. Some parts of Greystone and Magness Creek were simply too far from the closest fire station and the threat of double or triple insurance premiums for those areas loomed.

The solution that met the requirements of the Insurance Services Office, known as ISO, was to park an unstaffed fire truck at a rented truck bay in the vicinity. The ISO rates fire departments for insurance purposes.

During Eddie Joe Williams’ term as mayor, the city paid about $260,000 for three acres at Hwy. 5 and Mountain Springs Road that also had a shop building where the fire truck could be parked.

The unstaffed truck has kept premiums down for six years but has not added to the security of the area.

The new station will be built on the three acres. The station has been described as a no-frills facility that will be adequate for the fire department’s needs. The architect for the project is Clements and Associates from North Little Rock.

Also in the proposed budget is $64,000 for two vehicles for the fire department, $20,000 for extrication equipment, $69,352 for the planned streetscape on Main Street, $15,000 for a thermal imager, $90,000 for a dump truck and $50,000 for a mini-excavator.

The council is expected to pass the 2013 budget on Nov. 19.