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Buckley considering new station
By Jessica Keller, The Courier-Herald
The Buckley City Council gave Fire Chief Alan Predmore the go-ahead to begin considering a new building, either a new fire station or public safety building, for the city.
At a workshop April 28, members of the City Council directed Predmore to begin the evaluation, assessment and planning phase of the process after Predmore updated them as to what Buckley's options were in the direction of fire services.
Predmore said the meeting was scheduled because every couple of years for the past 10 or 15 years, council members have brought up the issue of future facilities for the fire department. Some designs had even been drawn up, but nothing ever happened.
This year Predmore said he approached members of the public safety committee and asked them, before the council went into its council retreat, if they would approach other council members at the retreat and ask what direction the fire department should go. The council decided at the retreat to hold a workshop.
Predmore said he wanted a clear direction before starting the planning process. He said if the council decided not to pursue anything, that would have been fine, but he didn't want to expend the time and effort answering difficult questions if there was no interest in pursuing a planning process. If there had been no interest, Predmore felt he needed to know when the council planned on addressing fire department needs again, because there are day-to-day operations to think of to provide the best services for the public.
Predmore said, since he was already asking for a clear direction for the city, he would also give information about what direction the city could go in terms of providing fire services, including consolidations, mergers or annexations with other fire service providers in the area.
Predmore said the message he got from the council was that, while members were certainly not against working with other fire service agencies to provide the best services for the city of Buckley, the city was not interested in giving up control of its fire services to any other agency.
Predmore said he was directed to begin evaluating the options of building a new facility, and what type of facility it should be, whether a new fire station or a public safety building. After that is determined, he will look into various locations, construction options and costs.
He will then present the council with a preliminary outline for the plan, and they will vote on whether or not to begin the construction process by going out to bid.
Jessica Keller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org