Siloam Springs board to discuss fire department training center

SILOAM SPRINGS -- City board members will hear presentations Tuesday about the angled parking design for downtown as well as a fire department budget amendment.

Board members will hold a workshop about the Medical Springs Park schematic design at 5:30 p.m. followed by the regularly scheduled board meeting at 6:30 p.m., according to the meeting agenda published on the city website.

First up will be a fire department presentation about the new ladder truck, including a plan to spend money leftover from the purchase to begin building a training facility.

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According to a staff report by Fire Chief Jeremy Criner, the department is proposing a budget amendment for the fire department 2017 capital outlay that would add $112,256 for the first phase of a training center project.

The staff report states that the fire department needs access to a training facility to practice firefighting and medical skills, such as hose deployment and advancement, fire extinguishment, ventilation, ground and aerial ladder deployment and rope rescue operations. Currently the department uses outside training facilities for training, the report states.

Adding a fire training facility would help the fire department earn credit on their Insurance Services Office grading scale, according to the report.

The proposed training center would be located south of Fire Station 1 on city-owned property. Phase 1 of the project would include completing the site plan, foundation design, utility relocation and initial groundwork, the report stated.

The final goal will be to build a three- to four-story drill tower with attached burn rooms. The proposed facility would also include firefighting and rescue props throughout the building and training grounds.

The report proposes the first phase of the project will not cost the city any additional money. It explains that in December, the fire department's ladder truck was involved in an accident while responding to a residential house fire. The insurance company decided the vehicle was a total loss and paid the full insured amount of $445,000 minus a $1,000 deductible.

The city board approved the purchase of a replacement vehicle at a total cost of $331,744, leaving $112,256 remaining from the insurance claim, the report states. The remaining phases of the project would be presented in upcoming budget years and estimated to total $650,000.

The second presentation on the agenda will center around downtown angled parking design. The city tested angled parking on Broadway Street from June 25 to June 29 and held a parking think tank for downtown business owners on June 29.

NW News on 07/16/2017

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