Monday, April 22, 2024
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Cookeville Closes On Gould Drive Property For Fire Station 3

Cookeville closed a deal Monday that acquired a Gould Drive property to house the city’s Fire Station Three.

City Manager James Mills said the process took a lot longer than he would have liked. He said after years of searching, he and Fire Chief Benton Young identified this property as the best they had come across for a reasonable price.

“Benton Young, our current chief, was pretty thorough in reviewing and trying to identify properties that we contacted,” Mills said. “And we looked at many different locations, and we believe this was the best site we could find for the value.”

Mills said the next step is getting a contract put in place with an architect to draw up a design for the facility. He said that in the meantime, the city is looking diligently for a property for Fire Station Two in hopes that both can be built at once.

“From the taxpayers’ perspective, it would be a significant savings,” Mills said. “We want both stations or all of our future stations to be very similar to each other so you’ll know that it’s a Cookeville Fire Station.”

Mills said the city has been going through the same process that led them to Gould Drive in looking to identify a space near the existing Fire Station Two. He said the city has had the architect explore the idea of rebuilding Fire Station Two at its current location on North Washington Avenue, but fitting the new four-bay facility onto that site would be a squeeze.

“Instead of taking out the large fire engines, we’re trying to transition into squad vehicles, which are basically four-wheel-drive pickup trucks,” Mills said. “But they’re loaded with all of the equipment necessary for an emergency call. But to house those, we’re trying to put in enough bays at each station so we can have them strategically located.”

Mills said he expects three months of design, several more months to secure a contractor, and 18 months of construction. Mills said that theoretically, the city could have two new fire stations just two years from today.

“We think we could save not only on architectural fees but hopefully with the general contractor fees,” Mills said. “You’d order the same materials for two different stations, so that thought process is that due to the economy scale, doing two at once, we would actually have a savings.”

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