Troy Council plans for third fire station

Published 4:00 am Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A plan to create a third fire station in Troy received approval Tuesday from the city council.

The plan calls for the city to buy back the former Army Reserve building on the Elba Highway from the Troy City Schools and convert the unused drill hall to a drive-through fire station.

“One of the priorities of our general obligation bond issue was to create a third fire station inside city limits,” Mayor Jason Reeves told the council. “In looking at the best way to do this and the most cost efficient, we believe if we purchase the old Army Reserve Center back from the Board of Education and place fire station three in the drill hall at the rear, we will save the city $1 million, maybe $2 million, depending on how the bids come in.”

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Reeves said he and Fire Chief Thomas Outlaw have met with representatives of the Troy City Schools and they believe the facility will allow both entities to co-exists “There is a board room which the Board of Education doesn’t use all the time, which will provide room for training and workshops,” Reeves said. “We believe we can design the fire station to include a drive-through bay on the back (in the old drill hall) which is the preferred design for new stations.”

The city sold the building to the Board of Education in 2005 for $500,000. Since then, the board has invested nearly $1.3 million in renovations and additions to create the central office, board meeting room and training rooms now at the center. The drill hall and back areas remain unused.

The resolution authorizes Reeves to pursue the purchase of the building for $1,861,306.80, an amount which he said “details to the penny how much the Board of Education has put into this building.” In turn, the city will allow the Board of Education to lease its office and meeting spaces in the building, although Reeves said the specifics of any lease remain to be decided.

“This resolution authorizes me to negotiate this purchase,” he said. “The school board will have to consider it and approve it.”

City officials said if approved, plans could be developed within about three months.

“I support putting a fire station on that side of town to support the residents who live there,” said District 3 Council Marcus Paramore, who represents the residential areas near the building.

In other business, the council:

• Held the first reading of ordinance 356, which approves the issuance and sale of $12.195 million in water, electric and sewer revenue bonds. Rush Rice of Rice Advisory LLC, which is handling the sale, said the city received favorable feedback and a “very high A” rating from Standard and Poor’s, placing Troy among the “top tier of municipal borrows in the Southeast. The net interest on the 25-year, fixed rate bonds is 3.898 percent and the total financing cost, including the insurance, is 4.079 percent. The cost of issuance is 2.027 percent and the city’s debt service on the warrants will be approximately $2.3 million annually. Pending approval at the next council meeting, the bonds will be issued on Nov. 25.

• Authorized an additional payroll for city employees on Nov. 20. The annual additional payroll includes $50 for each part-time employee and one-tenth of one month’s salary for full-time employees. The council also gave the mayor permission to close City Hall on Thanksgiving and the following Friday.

• Awarded the bid for Cat 6 rewiring of Internet, phone and networking lines at City Hall to Pruitt Communications for $39,637.62

• Approved a resolution allowing the city to reimburse expenses related to the utilities projects and the issuing of the bond warrants with the proceeds of the bonds. This includes any short-term local bank financing of projects included in the sewer and utilities bond projects.

• Approved the purchase of two new trucks from Ken Cox Ford for the Parks and Recreation Department: a three-quarter ton truck for $28,977.22 and a half-ton truck for $27,670.48.

• Approved the purchase of three new vehicles for the utilities department: two 4×4 trucks from Bill Jackson Chevrolet at $29,170.49 each and an 18-wheeler tractor from Four Star for $103,356. The city will reissue bids for an SUV and a 2×2 truck for the department.

• Approved the Federal Aviation Agreement and Airport Improvement Plans for 2016. The plans drafted by Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood call for the rehabilitation of airfield drainage in 2016, a project identified during the 2015 assessment period. The project cost is estimated at $450,000, with $27,500 coming from local funds and the remaining 95 percent from federal and state funds. The plans also outline a five-year, capital improvement plan for the airport including runway intersection improvements, rehabilitation of runway and taxiway lighting and resurfacing of runway 7/25. Total estimated cost for the five-year plan is $2.52 million, with the city providing $140,000.

• Congratulated District 5 Councilwoman Dejerilyn King Henderson on her appointment to the National League of Cities Board of Directors.

• Recognized Janet Marshal, special projects coordinator for the city, whose last day with the city is Friday. Marshal, who has worked for three years in the mayor’s office and previously worked for seven years as director of the Colley Complex, has taken a job in Tuscaloosa.

“Thank you for the opportunity to work for the city,” she said. “This is bittersweet. This is my home and my family is here, and I love Troy.” However, Marshal’s husband is the fire chief of Northport, “and I love my husband more,” she joked.

“I don’t know if you could find anybody who has done as many different things for me and for the city as Janet has done,” Reeves said. “Friday will be her last day, and I wanted to thank Janet publicly.”