The Town Board Tuesday night gave the town manager the go-ahead to seek land in east Davidson for a second fire station, which the manager called “a pretty dire need.” The vote followed a presentation by a Charlotte-based consulting firm that looked at four potential sites, and identified one at June Washam and Davidson-Concord roads as preferable.
At Tuesday’s monthly meeting, the board also voted 4-0 (with Commissioner Bill Johnson absent):
- To take over maintenance and control of Beaty Street from the N.C. Department of Transportation.
- To approve donating $7,145 from the Kay Kincaid Memorial Fund, established in honor of the late wife of former Mayor Randy Kincaid, to the Loaves & Fishes food pantry.
- To amend the 2009-10 budget to reflect receipt of a $4,096 grant from N.C. Department of Transportation for the DavidsonWalks program.
- To amend the four-town agreement that governs Lake Norman Transportation Commission, and to spend up to $10,000 on a proposed study of the North Corridor mass transit line by the Urban Land Institute. (Download a PDF copy of the amended interlocal agreement.)
- To adopt a town Energy Plan, which could make the town eligible for federal stimulus funds. (Download a PDF of the energy plan.)
- To declare three retired police department vehicles – two cars and a van – as surplus property, so the town can sell them
- To approve a planning department proposal of contributions required by the developer of Bailey Springs toward the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance.
The board also heard presentations by the police and fire chiefs on the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce’s naming of police Corporal Scott Searcy as officer of the year, Frank Molinek as firefighter of the year, and resident Roley Altizer as Crimestoppers Citizen of the Year.
The town also recognized Tuesday as Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day.
NEW FIRE STATION
The town is under pressure from the state Insurance Services Office, or ISO, to establish a second fire station on the east side of town – east of the Davidson-Concord Road/East Rocky River Road roundabout. That’s because recent development, and development envisioned under plans the town already has approved, is increasing the number of homes more than five miles away from the current fire station off Main Street.
Download the executive summary of the feasibility study (PDF)
If the town does not address the issue, the ISO could decide to lower insurance ratings (and raise insurance rates) for many property owners on the east side of town and in areas just beyond the town limits.
Town Manager Leamon Brice said the town had hired ADW Architects of Charlotte to study the town’s needs and sites. “We are in pretty dire need of a second fire station. And we asked them to do a needs assessment of that station, our current station, and also the location for the second station,” he said.
ADW Architects looked at four sites in east Davidson that the town had identified as possible locations for a second fire station. All would satisfy requirements for quick response times, the consultants told the Town Board. But the site at June Washam and Davidson-Concord Roads would be easiest to develop and would offer the fastest response times to current and future homes and businesses nearby. (The land is owned by the Mayes family.)
Besides the June Washam-Davidson-Concord site, the town also is looking at three other sites: on Shearer Road, near the new bridge across the West Branch of the Rocky River, owned by developers of the River Run neighborhood; on a Davidson-Concord Road site currently owned by Hopewell Church; and on a parcel just east of the town’s Beaver Dam historic site.
The fire station would cost about $4 million to build at any of the four sites, excluding the cost of the land. The town already owns the Beaver Dam site. The town would have to negotiate to buy any of the others, and it’s not known how much that might cost. Jim Powell of ADW said the town probably would need 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 acres.
Commissioner Brian Jenest questioned the inclusion of the site near Beaver Dam, which is a historic home and park. “It’s hard for me to envision a fire station next to Beaver Dam,” he said. “That’s not the way we do things.”
Commissioner Margo Williams noted that the Beaver Dam parcel was given to the town by a developer as a payment in lieu of constructing affordable housing. She said if it uses that property, the town might need to make up for the value of the property in its affordable housing fund.
Davidson has about $150,000 in this year’s budget to help fund the fire station land purchase and begin design. Just under $20,000 of that went to ADW for the feasibility study. More money would be needed in future capital improvements budgets. The Town Board will be reviewing those plans in the coming months.
Tuesday night’s 4-0 vote authorizes Mr. Brice to enter negotiations for the sites. The manager and his staff are expected to weigh land costs and the ease of development as they look for a site.
Mr. Brice said he next thing “is to go out and try and secure one of these sites, and then secure a contact with ADW to continue the design on the actual station. ” Mr. Brice said that given the consultant’s report, any of the four sites are possible, as are other unidentified sites in the same area. “It doesn’t have to be any one of the four. Anything in this general area would work,” he said.
Commissioner Jenest asked how quickly the town might need to build the new station. Mr. Brice said, “ I think we need to kind of move this thing along, not ASAP, but very methodically,” he said.
Executive Summary of ADW Architects’ feasibility study for a second fire station (PDF), CLICK HERE>
Download a PDF of the town energy plan adopted Tuesday night.
Added 11/10/09 – Download minutes for the Oct. 13 meeting, (PDF).
Oct. 13, 2009, Town moving forward on plans for east side fire station.”