Carbondale closer to new fire department

The City Council approved a resolution Tuesday that allows for the placement and development of another fire department in the city.

Kevin Baity, city manager, said in an email the new fire department’s location, which will be 401 N. Glenview Dr., will allow for quicker response times because the facility will be closer to parts of the city that have seen more development recently.

Baity said in the email the city has waited for the facility for quite some time.

“The importance of replacing the station has mounted steadily over the last 10 years,” he said. “In the last five to six years, there has been a substantial increase in required facility maintenance.”

Although the fire station is designed to decrease energy usage with radiant floor heat, some council members think more should be done to create a facility that will be conducive to energy savings in the future.

Councilman Lance Jack said at the meeting that in his nine years with the council, a goal of the group has been to make progressive movements to save money, but the Council has rarely chosen to pursue such actions because the progressive plans are initially more expensive.

Since the building is still in the design process, Jack said the council should take the opportunity to look into geothermal installations, which could result in saved finances with a bigger payout now for the property.

“We talk about needing to push the envelope on stuff, and we as a city never quite do that,” Jack said. “I’m just worried that now here we are into our second big building in the last several years, and we’re still hemming and hawing on the fence as to pushing forward in a direction that’s really going to pay off in the long run.”

Councilman Chris Wissmann said geothermal technology is usually successful in areas where there is a considerable amount of stone in the geography that can store heat in the winter and release it in the summer. Cold air would then be released in the summer as it stores underground in the winter months, he said.

Wissmann said it’s the architects’ jobs to determine the job’s cost, and it’s the council’s job to determine if the cost is acceptable in accordance with how much money can be saved in the long run.

“In different types of environments and different types of typography, (geothermal technology) doesn’t work as well,” he said. “You kind of need the environment and the geology, and it will do it right.”

The other Carbondale fire stations are located at 300 S. Oakland and 600 E. College.

The vote passed unanimously, but council members said a considerable amount of care should be taken during the facility’s planning process and all energy- saving options should be considered.

Councilman Don Monty said he has been interested in the benefits geothermal and solar energy technology benefits for the city because he is an ex-officio member of the sustainability commission.

“We need to design our buildings with an eye to long-term sustainability, not just front end construction costs,” Monty said.

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About Austin Flynn

Austin Flynn can be reached at aflynn@dailyegyptian.com or 536-3311 ext.252.

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