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Taylor Mill Firehouse Repair Costs Cause Sticker Shock at Commission Meeting

The Taylor Mill city commission got a taste of sticker shock at its meeting earlier this month when the estimated price for needed repairs to the firehouse came in.

CT Consulting was tapped to compile a report on the condition of the firehouse and Robert Dreyer from that firm presented the numbers.

The total cost to address every issue within the firehouse came in at $730,600, while a "must-have" list came in at $520,000.

The firehouse has been in rough shape for a while, but the cost to repair it may be too much for some city leaders to digest.

Commissioner Mark Kreimborg said that he did not want to spend half a million dollars on the project, arguing that the city had worked too hard to get out of debt.

Kreimborg suggested breaking down the repairs into manageable groupings, if possible.

But much of that work could be necessary now, particularly since so much of it is related. For example, if the dry wall is removed to shore up the foundation, it might be less expensive to address the electrical needs while the walls are down. Similarly, the furnace and air conditioning system needs to be replaced, so that might be less expensive to do while the walls are removed.

The city put a new roof on the building a couple years ago, but Dreyer said that the first thing that is needed is to search the whole building to determine whether it is full of mold.

Dreyer said that the main problem is the water leaks coming through two layers of cinder blocks and the mortar joints. Elsewhere, there are parts of the building that have rusted through, and doors and lintels that are corroded.

The ten most-needed repairs, it was estimated, come in at a cost of $167,000.

The city commission considered the eight most pressing issues, along with replacing the smoke detectors for a cost of $167,600. Mayor Dan Bell said that he was leaning towards addressing the top ten issues.

Then it was suggested that the mold study be included, so a motion was made to approve expenditures on the top ten items along with that study. But Fire Chief John Stager said that electrical work was a priority for the department because it is running out of room for it. 

The commission approved the addressing of the major issues, and asking for bids for a mold and asbestos study.

City Administrator Brian Haney said that he hopes to have some costs for that at the February meeting.

Meanwhile, Pride Park could use some attention, too, Mayor Bell said.

Bell suggested pursuing grant opportunities that would cover half the costs of repairs there, particularly new surfacing.

Members of the city commission also suggested the possibility of repairing or replacing playground equipment that is about 20 years old.

Bell said that he would work with Public Works Director Marc Roden to gather prices for equipment.

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor

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