News 10-2-07 CAC Meeting Update

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Posted by: peter - 10/3/2007 6:50:13 AM
I was wondering if there was any mention of the eco channel/ whitewater park extension in the discussion of the post office project as they seem to be connected?

Posted by: Mike Van H - 10/3/2007 9:05:41 AM
Hi Peter! Actually, I believe the eco-channel is tied more to a second whitewater parj extensions than the post office. You might be thinking of the Post Office plaza, with terracing steps down to the river....this was part of the conversion of the Post Office into retail, however I believe they have since separated the two from each other, or they are trying to. The council wants to build the eco-channel and 2nd whitewater park conjunctively, and I think they are in the fund-finding phase of it.

Posted by: Bugsy - 10/3/2007 9:11:49 AM
Good information, but what about the other downtown issues like the indoor farmers market, the kings inn building, the remodel of the fitzgerald hotel casino, the trench cover and the proposed condos....

Posted by: Mike Van H - 10/3/2007 10:57:11 AM
Well Bugsy you can't cover EVERYTHING in just one meeting, or the meeting would last forever. I don't know about the indoor urban market and where that stands. Regarding the Kings Inn, I am unaware of any news, other than Annakin's post about talking to a construction worker who said it may be converted to apartments. As far as the trench cover, I mentioned in an earlier post that Dave Aiazzi is directing staff to see the feasability of using future bonds generated by the Montage project to pay for the gap in funding for the trench cover. You will hear a big announcement in the coming months about the Fitz remodel once he actually purchases it this month sometime. I am sworn to secrecy and don't want to jeapordize any possible deals, but I can tell you I saw the renderings and intricate architect plans for remodelling it from top to bottom. You will not be disappointed.

Posted by: John Andrews - 10/3/2007 12:28:43 PM
I agree that retail buildings on the west side of the former Mapes site would be a bad move. The plaza needs to stay open to Virginia St., especially in front of City Hall.

Posted by: Matthew A - 10/3/2007 9:56:26 PM
Awesome news on all fronts. Thanks for the update Mike.

Posted by: Aidan - 10/5/2007 10:17:39 PM
I still can't belive that with as much publicity the stadium has been getting no one has figured out the the fire station is being demolished and ther is NO PLAN per RFD administration and city council on were to place a temporary station let alone a permanent one. Has every one forgotten already the 12 people who died right across the street from the downtown station less than a year ago? At that time they presented commendations to all the crews for saving countless lives now were placing them in tents and moving them away from the core with, again, NO PLAN on where? Don't get me wrong, the stadium a great idea and will help revitalize downtown, but what happens when the next old run down hotel burns, like the El cortez, or Ross manor, or The Morris etc. It's amazing!! Go talk to the crews down there and they'll tell you the real scoop. I stopped by today and even though they are being booted out their still in favor of the project but just want to be able to still serve the people downtown properly. They say that they were not consulted at all until the last minute and that a "Temporary" station may mean anywhere from 5-10 years! The money for the loan (10 million?) is not enough to even build a new station that could house all of the fire trucks they have now and it isn't even a whole 10 million cause they have to use some of that money to move and set up the temporary stations. The city needs to step up to the plate and take care of our firefighters so they can take care of us!

Posted by: Mike Van H - 10/6/2007 10:50:23 PM
Hi Aidan...I believe that's why the City Council, Jessica S in particular set up a Fire Station Relocation sub-committee, to do just that. The City Downtown Master Plan already had a new fire station plan for over by Keystone in the large parcel West of Keystone and 2nd Street they acquired from the Retrac Project. If you have seen any of the meetings, you would know Jessica my councilwoman was extremely concerned about the increased response time to the Wells Ave area...which right now stands at something like 1:20 seconds...which would increase significantly, but the Fire Department's own report said it would still fall within response mandates if one of the other two nearby fire stations responded. Also, I saw at least on two occasions the Fire Department report directly to the council that they would actually like to vacate the old, outdated building and relocate somewhere that would offer better routes and overall dispatch efficiency. I think we should at least see what the subcomittee comes up with before we start panicking. Trust me, I LIKE that fire station there, it's only about 60 seconds from my I will be watching closely as well.

Posted by: Anakin-Marc - 10/7/2007 11:10:38 PM
Just a thought regarding Wells, but has anybody with the city considered reaquiring the old Wells fire house (with the Spider Bug on the roof) and utilizing that along with the Keystone location to maintain coverage of both the Wells area, as well as downtown?

Posted by: Fireman - 10/8/2007 7:38:48 PM
Your right, Mike Van H, they are trying to set up a subcommittee, but what Aidan, you and all the public don't realize is that the decisions are being made already. They (City & RFD managment) have already sat down and discussed what the alternatives are and here is the conclusion firsthand--They have no money and no plan. To replace the fire station would cost somewhere between 15-20 million not including land. After exhaustive research of the area there are few parcels that could support a fire station like the current station 1 and if they do find one the cost of land is anywhere from 2-5 million for the lot. Start your calculators. The cost to move the station will be 1.5 million (Estimated). The cost to retrofit the building on 3rd and vine another .5-1 million depending on how good they want to make the living conditions. A second temporary station is proposed at either 4th & valley or another location that would cost another .5 or more to set up a "tent" and a modular building(not including leases & in order to be up to fire code after 6 months it needs to be sprinklered) Another 10-20k a month for a total of a possible 240k a year to place administration in office space somewhere else. And, as stated by our mayor we will be in these "temporary Stations" for 3-5 years. The total estimated cost 3.7 million and we haven't even bought land for the station yet. That leaves 6.3 million on the loan to build a replacement station that including land will cost over 20 million dollars! Keystone is a horrible location and would require an increase in staffing with the placement of another single engine station back in the original area of the current station one to adequately meet response times. 3rd & vine would also duplicate response west of virginia for an area that doesn't recieve the bulk of the calls that we see at station 1. Also, we've been told the decisions will be made and presented in the next week, which makes the committee, even if it is formed, placed in force after the bulk of the major decisions have been made already. The city has also stated that they have no money and have advised RFD management to find "city land first to use before all else". Guess what, there is no other city land except for 3rd & vine. That's why it was chosen not because it works but because it's the right price--FREE! Minutes may not seem like much but think about this.. You are brain dead and not able to be resuscitated after 4-6 minutes of no oxygen and a fire doubles every minute. So on an average fire that starts the size of a 2x2 square area in five minutes would be over 128 square feet (typical bedroom size). And thats just for us to pull up out front and start our attack. In another minutes you'll have two rooms fully involoved. Think about it. Don't misunderstand, I am for the stadium as are most of us, but to demolish the busiest station that serves an area with highest potential for life and property loss with no "realistic plan" is ludicris. Is the Mizpah forgotten already? One day the are giving me and my crew a commendation for "Saving numerous lives" and praising us and our quick response to the incident and now a 5 minute reponse time is "good enough". Build the stadium, iI'm o.k. with that. Demolish our station, I'm O.K. with that too (even though we love this station and have never wanted to tear it down as has been told). Just build us a new one so we can do our job properly and don't place ours and the public's safety on the back burner for 3-5 years.

Posted by: Fireman - 10/8/2007 7:44:58 PM
Anakin-Marc, yes they have. Due to it being turnded into a Homeless shelter all the amenties to make it liveable have been removed, kitchen, shower, etc and would cost @ 1.8 to renovate. But this Station is even older than station one and was determined that we needed a newer station. Also this building is promised to some kind of homeless Foundation (not sure who) for the tune of 800k. Also it would only be able to fit two companies (engine & Truck) when currently there is an engine, Truck a& 2 man squad currently downtown. And due to call volume have for the past 3 years have asked for and additional fire engine and have been repaeatedly turned down.

Posted by: Anakin-Marc - 10/26/2007 1:12:40 PM
Regarding the firehouse... I was walking around downtown headed back from a friend's place a few nights ago when I had an idea: Why not build a combined Greyhoumd and RTC center on 4th where the new station is going in. The current land where the station is could be used for a new firehouse. Still close to downtown, and having all the transit in one location (Amtrak, Greyhouse, RTC) would make things much more convienant especially if any mass transit ideas come up in the future. Just an idea...