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Fire station bid accepted by council

The Sunnyside City Council on Monday of this week accepted the bid of Blew's Construction Company of Spokane to construct a new fire station.

The winning bid for the construction phase of the project was $3,386,981. The entire fire station project has a total budget of $4.5 million.

Fire Chief Aaron Markham said the project is coming in under budget, but is currently at a bit more than $4 million, including the purchase of land and the architectural design of the project.

The construction phase includes the demolition of the existing building where the fire station expansion is planned to go, the construction of the addition, the construction of a wash bay and an epoxy floor covering finish on the existing apparatus bay floor to cover patched concrete that will be caused by the construction and existing cracks.

The council asked what would happen if all of the money in the voter-approved bond is not used. Markham said he wasn't sure, but it may be possible to pay down some of the bond interest with any funds left in reserves.

Deputy Mayor Don Vlieger asked when the project will break ground. Markham said that if everything goes well, the ground could be broken as soon as the first of May.

Vlieger also asked about change orders and whether the city has a procedure in place any longer.

The decision was made to have staff formulate a policy on change orders.

"The question we have is how low can you go," said Interim City Manager John Darrington. "If it's $2,500 and needs to be decided in 24 hours, do we go to council?"

The city had an ordinance in the past, according to Mayor Jim Restucci, but it has been rescinded. The former policy gave the city manager signing authority for amounts under $25,000.

The plan is to provide an ordinance to council regarding the issue by the next regular council meeting.

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