Commissioners voted to add $632,000 to the budget, which has rekindled the plan for the construction of Fire Station Three.
Thanks to a vote by city commissioners on July 30, Plant City is one step closer to seeing the long-discussed Fire Station Three completed.
The new fire station will be built along Park Road near the old Tourist Information Center, 1702 N. Park Road. When the completed design plans were revealed, the total price tag was a little more than $3 million.
However, due to low construction estimates from the architect, continually increasing costs of construction material and an overall lack of skilled construction workers that led to increased wages, that budget needed to be reevaluated.
“You have an estimate in a budget that was built what, two and a half years ago?” McDaniel said. “With construction being as busy as it is right now, obviously there’s been some inflationary pressure on prices, a whole bunch of issues have impacted that over the period we’ve been working on it. When we did the bid we had multiple firms bid on it and the prices were significantly higher than the original budget.”
According to a presentation by McDaniel, 12 contractors submitted bids ranging from a low of $2,798,660 to a high of $3,935,129.30. The cheapest bidder did not have the experience in building public safety facilities required for the bid. The bidder of $3,068,000 did meet the requirements.
On July 30, commissioners approved amending the budget to add approximately $632,000 so a contractor could begin work on the new site.
Staff contacted the lowest responsive and responsible bid and begin to discuss value engineering, which is a systematic method that examines function to cost. Using this method, you then begin to manipulate the value to improve the cost until you reach the peak.
The contractor identified a potential savings of $213,000 using that method and the architect confirmed the changes could be made without changing the appearance or functionality of the station.
The contract was awarded to West Construction, Inc. The plan is for the new station to be completed within nine to 12 months.
The proposed budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year also includes plans to repair the roof of Fire Station Two, which McDaniel said is in desperate need of fixing up.
In the 2019-2020 fiscal budget, a larger fund is expected to be set aside to do a major overhaul of the station. These renovations will include revamping the long outdated dorm rooms and kitchen.