A special meeting to discuss moving forward with plans for Ash Flat's new fire department was held Sept. 30 at Ash Flat City Hall.
Ash Flat Fire Chief Stacy Horton displayed the architectural plans for the station. Members of the city council reviewed them, asking questions about the structure. All were in favor of moving forward with obtaining financing for the building.
A few changes were discussed including alternative options for front doors, if need be. The main discussion was about the funding for the project, whether to utilize USDA funding or private institutional sources.
Members of council and Ash Flat Mayor Danny Traw discussed several options and finally agreed to allow Traw to meet with some area banks regarding loans, as well as the USDA. This would give city council more than one option for funding and allow the city to make the most economical decision.
Traw said he would get the information needed and try to get back to council and call a special meeting prior to the next regular council meeting. This would allow the city to move forward with the project.
Traw also mentioned one of the city's fire trucks will likely be paid off by the end of the year and the money currently being used to pay off the fire truck, could help with the payment on the new fire station.
Ash Flat's current fire station will be remodeled for a library. Although construction on the building may not begin until after the first of the year, the city needs to begin the process of obtaining financing for the department.
The building will be located at 5 Goodwin Cove, across from Wal-Mart. The 10,000 square foot facility will house three double bays, offices and a waiting area as well as a living area for the firefighters. Horton said the station will be something the city can be proud of. Among the advantages, Horton said, he hoped to lower the city's ISO rating, saving homeowners on their insurance rates.
After financing is obtained for the fire station, the city must also go through a process to accept bids or to hire a project manager. Horton said. "The building itself should go up fairly fast."