MV Fire District plans second station - Tucson Local Media: Pima Pinal

MV Fire District plans second station

No borrowing needed to build $4.6M facility, officials say

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Posted: Monday, May 17, 2010 11:00 pm | Updated: 8:09 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

Mountain Vista Fire District plans to have a second fire station built by summer of next year and might even be able to staff the facility with some of its own fire apparatus.

The station, designated Mountain Vista Station 2, will be located at 1176 W. Magee Rd. on 3.3 acres of property the district recently purchased, according to Earl Ruhnke, Mountain Vista Governing Board chairman.

Mountain Vista currently contracts with Rural/Metro Fire Department, leasing stations, vehicles, personnel and equipment to provide fire protection within the district.

Mountain Vista does not currently own any fire apparatus or equipment, but is building its first station at 9310 N. Shannon Rd.

That 11,500-square foot station will house 11 firefighters and have 2-1/2 bays for apparatus and equipment. It is designed so an additional bay can be added in the future if needed.

However, Ruhnke said, work has been delayed on Station 1.

"We have been told we're in a flood plain, so we have to build up the property before we can proceed," he said.

Scott Butler, the district's administrative chief, said the proposed Station 2 would consist of three buildings totaling 21,183 square feet.

The main structure would be the fire station at 15,072 square feet, with five apparatus bays, three being drive-through, bunk rooms for a dozen firefighters, a firefighter study room, physical fitness room, kitchen and dining room, turnout gear storage and cleaning area.

The new station also will have a battalion chief's office suite with a bunk room, shower and meeting room.

The second building on the Magee Road site, at 4,165 square feet, would house administration offices, while the third structure of 1,946 square feet would be a training building that also would serve as a meeting facility to accommodate up to 90 people.

Butler said he expects the project architect — WSM Architects of Tucson, and the builder, Lloyd Construction — would have final cost numbers for consideration by the board of directors by the end of the month.

He noted that the cost of the Station 2 complex is estimated at $4.6 million.

Ruhnke added that the district doesn't expect it will have to borrow money for the new station.

"We will not have to bond, especially because we expect to get $900,000 this year from Pima County for the Fire Department Assistance Tax," Ruhnke said. "So we should have enough in our general fund to cover it."

The district also is considering the purchase of two pumpers, Butler noted. He said bids should come in by May 21 from the six vendors — Crimson Fire, E-ONE, Seagrave Fire Apparatus, KME Fire Apparatus, Pierce Manufacturing and Ferrara Fire Apparatus.

Butler pointed out that the district has capital funds in excess of the purchase price of two vehicles already set aside, so there would be no impact on fire tax rates.

Mountain Vista's tax rate is $1.25 per $100 of secondary assessed valuation, below that of neighboring fire districts.

"We have $1.2 million set aside for the purchase of vehicles and we expect to put another several hundred thousand dollars into capital equipment this year," Butler said.

Mountain Vista Fire District was formed in November of 2008 from a merger of three adjoining fire districts — North Ranch-Linda Vista, Heritage Hills and La Canada.

In 2009, Mountain Vista annexed 320 properties north of Lambert Lane and Thornydale Road, and later in the year annexed property in Oro Valley from Hardy Road south to the town line.

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