County News

The Sedona Fire District and public got a better idea of what the overall price tag may be in regard to new and upgraded stations in the event it’s determined a bond is needed to cover the costs.

Earlier this year, SFD’s Governing Board approved the creation of a citizen advisory committee to look into funding options, including a bond.

If deemed necessary by the committee, a bond would be proposed. When this process began, Chief Kris Kazian estimated that SFD would need a bond for around $15 million. But as things have moved on, that number could be sightly higher.

To give some perspective, a $15 million bond would equate to an increase of $17 a year per $100,000 of assessed value of a home.

For example, the owners of a home valued at $360,000 would pay around $60 per year. Any bond would have to be approved by the voters this November.

“If we go to a bond, we want to go into it the right way,” Kazian said late last week. “We don’t want to have to come back and do it again.”

On hand at the committee’s May 2 meeting were Seth Beer Ileana Beshaler of Core Construction, which has built stations across the country including 17 in Arizona over the last decade. They presented a general overview of construction cost estimates for the station projects.

Repairs to Station 1 in West Sedona carries a low estimate of $2.3 million to a high of $2.54 million while Station 3 in the Village of Oak Creek sees a low of $1.8 million and a high of $2.04 million. Plans call to rebuild Station 4 in Uptown and Station 5 in Oak Creek Canyon.

There is talk of moving Station 5 to Slide Rock State Park and entering into a financial agreement with the state to offset the costs. The range for Station 4 is $4.45 million to $4.94 million while for Station 5 it’s $2.3 million to $2.6 million. These costs do not include $1 million for a proposed new maintenance facility for Station 1, an upgrade to SFD’s telecommunication towers and equipment or an additional 10 to 15 percent to cover costs such as architectural, engineering and city fees.

When showing stations of similar size, Beer said they do not take a cookie cutter approach because each client has different wants and needs.

“What we deliver to our clients is what’s considered a turnkey project,” he said. “What I mean by that is that we did everything from demo a project to abate any hazardous materials all the way through to constructing the project to including the furnishings. We’ve had some say, ‘We’ll put the toilet paper on the rollers but basically we want everything else to be there.’”

Beshaler said if the district chooses to more forward with constriction of both Station 4 and 5 at the same time, there are costs to be saved if completed by one construction firm. However, she said it’s difficult to know just how much.

“Our perspective whenever we approach a project is that the client decides, ultimately,” Beer said. “The client decides what the budget is. The client decides what it is their scope priorities are. It’s then up to us to put it all together.”


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