New OC Fire Station Bid Okayed

OCEAN CITY – Progress was made this week toward construction of a new Ocean City fire station as arrangements for temporary operations were approved and a construction company selected.
Last December Fire Station 4 came before the Mayor and Council for approval of the final design and preparation of construction documents.
Fire Station 4, located on 130th Street, was included in the 2012 bond issuance when obtaining federal stimulus funds became unsuccessful.
The fire station was selected by the Ocean City Fire Department (OCFD) as a top priority for expansion due to the concentration of high-rise structures and year-round residents in north Ocean City. The idea to renovate versus a rebuild was investigated but the cost for renovation was not effective.
City Engineer Terry McGean returned to the council Tuesday after bids for construction of Fire Station 4 were opened on July 30 followed by staff review. McGean requested the council award the project to the apparent low bidder, Gillis Gilkerson, in the amount of $2,692,018. The total building budget is $3.5 million.
Fire Chief Chris Larmore explained four alternative locations to relocate Fire Station 4 apparatus and personnel were reviewed. The locations were Bethany Beach Fire Station 2 located in Fenwick Island, city-owned property on Gorman Avenue, the Beach Patrol facility on 130th Street and oceanfront, and the Recreation and Parks storage building on the backside of Jamaica Avenue.
“The goal was to try to keep us as close to the existing building as we could because that has proved to be the best in terms of response area, and also to have city network capability for computers, etc.,” Larmore said.
The Recreation and Parks storage unit resulted in being the best fit as it is about 400 yards from the existing fire station.
Larmore furthered minor modifications will have to be made, such as the installation of an overhead door opener to close the doors on the go as time is of the essence as well as converting part of the building into a live-in facility.
Councilman Joe Mitrecic made a motion to approve Gillis Gilkerson to construct the project. The motion was amended upon Councilman Dennis Dare’s request to include the savings from the project would cover the modification costs to the storage building to serve as a temporary facility for Fire Station 4. The council voted unanimously to approve.