Perry council approves fire station design, engineer for wastewater treatment plant upgrades

PERRY -- Two long-discussed Perry projects hit landmark stages Tuesday after the City Council voted unanimously on a design for the city’s second fire station and to allow engineers to design upgrades of the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

“It’s ironic they’re being voted on on the same night,” said Councilman William Jackson. “We’ve been working on both of them for a long time.”

Per the council decision at its regular meeting, the selected design for the second fire station will cost a maximum of $1.19 million. According to a separate decision, Constantine Engineering will design the first phase of upgrades at the treatment plant.

The City Council has discussed the plant upgrades since about 2007 and the fire station since about 2005, said City Manager Lee Gilmour. Gilmour said the city was waiting until the upgrades were essential and on funding for the fire station.

About $1 million of the funds for the new fire station come from the 2006 special purpose local option sales tax. The rest is from an impact fee and, if needed, the 2012 SPLOST.

The council chose one of four fire station designs Parrish Construction Group proposed. It is a 7,075-square-foot building near Langston and Houston Lake roads.

“It has the most usable space up front, plus it’s a lot easier to expand,” Jackson said. “It may be a little more expensive up front, but in the long run it’s worth it.”

Officials are expected to break ground on the fire station by mid-September, and it’s expected to be complete by February, said John Rood, Parrish Construction project manager.

The city has not funded additional firefighters for the station and likely will use current staff, Mayor Jimmy Faircloth said.

The wastewater treatment plant upgrades are not as close to completion as the fire station.

Still, the council’s decision moves the project into the first phase of the design process, which requires state approval before the groundbreaking.

The first of an undetermined number of phases is expected to cost about $3.88 million. Bonds issued in 2007 will be used to pay for it.

Also Tuesday, the council:

Tabled an item that would impose a new tax on rental cars;

Approved harsher regulations on dangerous dogs;

And approved City Attorney David Walker as the prosecuting attorney of Municipal Court.

To contact writer Christina M. Wright, call 256-9685.