Cost alone shouldn’t determine which of three sites along First Avenue East should be the new home for the city’s Central Fire Station, some on the City Council said Tuesday night.
Council member Tom Podzimek said he wanted to see some analysis that put some value on having an attractive new public building greet motorists as they come off Interstate 380 at Seventh Street NE rather than a Taco Bell restaurant.
Podzimek also noted that the city is planning to close a stretch of Second Avenue SE for Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa’s new medical building, and he wanted to know what impact that might have on the traffic flow from the three proposed fire station sites.
The council Tuesday night accepted the recommendation of its Fire Station Relocation Advisory Committee, and gave the go ahead to hire a private firm to analyze the purchase and relocation costs of the three favored sites: the 600 block of First Avenue NE (Taco Bell site); the 700 block of First Avenue SE (Emerald Knights site); and the 600 block of First Avenue SE (The History Center site).
Council member Chuck Swore pointed to the block containing The History Center and suggested that the council factor in the operational cost savings for The History Center if it were relocated into a city building like the new library or the auditorium in the renovated Veterans Memorial Building.
Funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the state I-JOBS program will pay most of the cost of the new building.