Rescue squad discusses plans for new building

By Lesley Jenkins
Star Staff

The Carter County Rescue Squad met Tuesday evening hoping to discuss a contract with Richardson Building Contracting to build new housing for the squad, but their hopes were dashed when a representative from the company failed to attend.
   Richardson Contracting planned to display plans for the new building, which would cost approximately $320,000 and be built using Star-manufactured steel, saving the squad considerable money compared to another estimate of over $800,000 from a competing company.
   The rescue squad will finance the building funds instead of requesting money from the county commission.
   Richardson would design the new squad building from scratch, according to ideas that the board wants. The new building will have a five-bedroom living quarters, executive room, training facility, kitchen and garage. The building contract also clarifies that construction would be a turn-key operation, preventing an exchange of different contractors and designers. The building would also be guaranteed for over 25 years.
   Since the contracting representative didn't attend the meeting, the board made a motion to consider a similar building from Star and to get three bids from different contractors with references. The motion passed unanimously.
   Currently, the rescue squad building has major sewage problems and has experienced leaking since the building was built in the early 1970s. The steel that was used in the initial construction has rusted, and there are cracks down the walls that have been there for over 30 years, board members mentioned.
   The board also discussed how they would continue operations once construction started on a new building. They decided to investigate the cost of leasing two mobile homes to place behind the current building. One mobile home would serve as an office and the other as the living quarters. Suggestions were reviewed about buying or leasing a repossessed trailer, which would be considerably cheaper.
   The board agreed to check with the city of Elizabethton about permits to place the trailers on the lot. During construction, the garage bay will be left standing while the other portion of the building is demolished. Once the building is complete, the current garage will also be destroyed.
   A new garage bay at Station 3 in Hampton will be built soon to house boats which are used for rescue and dragging at Watauga Lake. The new garage cost was added to the budget for 2002-2003, but construction was delayed.