First Steps Toward a New Beatrice Fire Headquarters

BEATRICE – The City of Beatrice will work to secure architectural services for a proposed new fire station.  If built, it would replace a cramped fire headquarters in the lower level of the Municipal Auditorium dating back to 1965.

Officials are discussing coming up with a concept and location for a facility, that would be funded by city sales tax money.  The project would require voter approval, on this November’s election ballot.

Fire Chief Brian Daake says the biggest challenge for the department is adequate space.

:11                  “square feet”

Fire officials stack fire and ambulance equipment in limited space. Preliminary discussions have been held with two Lincoln firms that have experience in building fire stations.  Daake says consultants suggest total space of between 25,000 to 30,000 square feet for a new station, situated on a city block.

The chief says city officials also met with the Beatrice Rural Fire Department on Friday.  That department has equipment housed at the city headquarters.

:12                  “as well”

Officials have discussed seeking a public vote on a half-cent increase in the local sales tax.  That could provide revenue to pay for a fire station bond issue, without using property tax support.   City Administrator Tobias Tempelmeyer says there are some questions to be answered.

:24                  “against something”

In addition to architectural services, the city will be deciding what construction method will be used…..design-bid-build……design-build….or the relatively new process of construction manager at-risk.

:11                  “too much”

City Councilman Bob Morgan feels the city at least needs a concept for the station.

:31                  “engineered items”

Mayor Stan Wirth says there must be something tangible to provide to the public.  Councilman Ted Fairbanks acknowledges the need is there, but it will be important for the city to show that the project can be paid for.

:12                  “end of it”

The mayor says city and rural firefighting input is important for the project. He also says time is of the essence, if the issue is to go to voters in November.  City Administrator Tempelmeyer says other city departments would be able to use the old fire department space, in the auditorium.

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