China Grove finds right price to fix up its police and fire department building

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 3, 2009

By Jessie Burchette

Salisbury Post

CHINA GROVE — The town’s police and fire department building will be getting a makeover.

It includes a new metal roof that should stop the growing problems with leaks.

And the building will be getting a gas-fired generator that will provide an emergency command center in case of severe weather or a catastrophic event that knocks out electricity.

After months of trying to come up with a roof deal within the town’s budget, aldermen finally found one they like.

Aldermen agreed to spend up to $50,000 on the project.

Public Works Director David Ketner said the town will buy the metal roof from Mid State Metals for $29,380 and CJ’s Construction of Kannapolis will install the roof for $11,740. That’s a total of $41,130.

Other prices to install a new roof had ranged from $80,000 to $115,000.

For the past few years, firefighters and police have complained about leaks and resulting damage to the building.

Efforts to patch the leaks have been unsuccessful.

Ketner recommended and the board approved removing a large heating and air conditioning unit from the roof and placing it at ground level.

The board also agreed to remove a large siren, circa 1940, from the top of the building and find another spot, possibly on a pole in the rear of the building.

The siren is rarely used, but officials said would be needed in case of a major emergency.

And the police and fire department building will also be getting a natural gas fired generator.

Utilities Director Kent Mishak reported getting prices from various companies for the generator and installation. He said the best deal for the town is to buy the 100 kilowatt generator from the company and then hire electricians to do the installation.

Aldermen approved buying the generator at a cost of $28,700 and hiring Hinson Electric to do the installation.

Responding to questions, Mishak said the larger-capacity generator is needed in case they have to sound the siren to warn residents.

“It’s a hoss,” Mishak said. “When you turn the siren on, it pulls every light in the building down.”

Officials have discussed for the past few years the need to have a building to serve as an emergency operations center that has electricity during widespread power outages, such as ice storms or hurricanes.

Installation of the generator is expected in the next few weeks.

In other matters, the board heard information or acted as follows:

* Jeff Gledhill, interim fire chief, presented a report on the National Incident Management System and updated the board on its implementation.

The system is intended to have all emergency and governmental units nationwide working off the same plan and using the same language when dealing with emergencies.

The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks prompted the effort to adopt a nationwide system. The disaster revealed that agencies responding to the disaster had conflicting approaches and terminology, as well as different departments being unable to communicate.

Gledhill said the fire department, police department, and other agencies are using the system and are continuing to train. Some other departments need to take the training, including members of the town administration and town board, Gledhill said.

All federal funding for emergency services requires compliance.

Town Manager Eric Davis stressed the importance for the planning, citing the potential for a major catastrophe in the downtown.

Officials agreed that the trains that run through the middle of the town create the greatest potential for a major disaster.