A study whose first phase is priced at $28,500 strikes us as a reasonable investment in order for Frankfort city commissioners to gain some professional insight on options for the aging Fire Station 1 in South Frankfort.
Few deny that something must be done about the building, which was built in the 1940s as a car dealership and hasn’t had a major renovation since. Fire Chief Eddie Slone said it’s “gone virtually unchanged in the 20 years that I’ve worked here.” City Commissioner Scott Tippett called the building “dangerous for the firemen.”
Slone wants commissioners to hire architecture and engineering firm Brandstetter Carroll to help the city sort out its options. After initial site evaluation and schematic design, the firm would have to go back before commissioners for approval of an actual architectural design and management of the resulting project.
The city should move out quickly on the relatively inexpensive first step.
Brandstetter Carroll’s stated commitment to seeking early public input on the project should be music to the ears of Tippett, who insisted on nothing less than full transparency when the council, at a meeting last month, discussed the possibility of a study.
The decision about the fire station cannot be made in a vacuum. It is but one moving part in a broader problem that is the intersection of Bridge and Second streets. The fate of City Hall is another. So is correcting awkward traffic flow, which could be fixed with a realignment of Conway Street.
“What we’re going to try to do is generate the opinions of, what the thoughts are of, anybody who has a stake in this project — where it’s located, what it should be, what it should look like, how can we improve, how will this impact the neighborhood,” Slone said of public participation.
Citizens, especially those in South Frankfort who will be directly affected, should hold the city accountable on that pledge.
Step one, though, is a professional partner to help identify options. We encourage commissioners to hire Brandstetter Carroll and get that conversation started.
Source : http://www.state-journal.com/2017/04/18/editorial-something-must-be-done-about-aging-fire-station/