Jefferson County Supervisors favor renovating former financial institution constructing over fireplace station

FAIRFIELD — The Jefferson County Supervisors have reconsidered an earlier proposal to swap property with the Metropolis of Fairfield because the county appears to be like for a constructing to function its new ambulance barn.

The county is transferring forward with plans to take over the ambulance service, which is at the moment privately run by CARE Ambulance of Iowa Metropolis. CARE’s contract expires on Sept. 30, and the supervisors are planning to have all the things in place for the county to take over the service on Oct. 1.

One hurdle the county must clear is the place it is going to home the ambulances. In February, the supervisors started wanting right into a proposal from then Fairfield Metropolis Administrator Aaron Kooiker to make use of the town’s fireplace station as the brand new ambulance barn, because the metropolis’s fireplace division can be transferring into a brand new fireplace station in 2024. In change, the town would purchase the previous First Nationwide Financial institution constructing on West Burlington that the county bought in 2022.

Jefferson County Supervisor Lee Dimmitt stated that, after assembly with architect Mike Nolan and getting a greater sense of the price of renovating the fireplace station, the supervisors have concluded that the fireplace station wouldn’t make a superb ambulance barn. He stated the county would wish to make vital modifications to the fireplace station akin to modifications to its sleeping rooms, redesigning a kitchen, and including showers. The rooms on the bottom flooring can’t be used as a result of they haven’t any egress. The county would additionally must make the fireplace station constructing compliant with the Individuals with Disabilities Act.

After accounting for all these obligatory modifications, the supervisors judged that the worth tag was too excessive.

“It turned obvious there would should be quite a lot of inside reconstruction,” Dimmitt stated. “My preliminary response to this proposal was, ‘Hey, the garages are already there. We’d simply must park the rigs and transfer in.’ However it’s not going to work out.”

Dimmitt stated he spoke to Nolan and Jefferson County Sheriff Bart Richmond about constructing an ambulance barn south of the Jefferson County Regulation Middle and north of O’Reilly Auto Components. Nevertheless, that patch of floor has a low spot, so the county must spend some huge cash filling it with grime, and the challenge would have value about half 1,000,000 {dollars}.

In the meantime, the anticipated value of reworking the previous financial institution constructing to make use of as an ambulance barn can be between $360,000-$380,000.

“It wouldn’t require a lot to transform that inside,” Dimmitt stated. “The three places of work can be utilized for sleeping rooms, and we’d add a fourth sleeping room. We’d want so as to add a range and fridge, plus two bathe stalls. We’ve already received new HVAC gear in there, which was executed shortly earlier than the primary of the yr. It’s not going to be low-cost, however it is going to value lower than the opposite options.”

Through the fall marketing campaign, Dimmitt stated he needed the county to promote the financial institution constructing it had simply bought earlier that summer time. However now that the county has it, and it wants to search out an ambulance barn, he believes the previous financial institution is one of the best constructing to satisfy this position. One other issue that has pushed the supervisors in favor of renovating the previous financial institution is that it may be completed a lot before the opposite two choices.

“The financial institution is the one possibility that might be full by Oct. 1,” Dimmitt stated. “For the fireplace station, we couldn’t even begin on building for it till midsummer of subsequent yr. And for the brand new constructing [by the law center], the design wouldn’t be executed till June 1, with bids going out Aug. 1. There was no manner we may assemble it by Oct. 1. With the First Nationwide Financial institution Constructing, we will hit the bottom working.”

Dimmitt stated the county has obtained a number of resumes for its newly created place of ambulance director, and the county hopes to call a director within the subsequent 10 days.

Name Andy Hallman at 641-575-0135 or electronic mail him at [email protected]

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