Council makes way for joint Washington City-Hurricane fire station

In this March 2015 photos, Washington City firefighters respond to a late night fire that destroyed a trailer in Washington City, Utah, March 23, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Alexander Lawhun, St. George News

WASHINGTON CITY – A site for a new fire station slated to be jointly used by the Washington City Fire Department and Hurricane Valley Fire Special Services District came a step closer to reality Wednesday as the Washington City Council approved items related to the project.

General location of a new fire station that will be jointly-run by the Washington City Fire Department and Hurricane Valley Fire Special Services District. | Image courtesy of Google Maps, St. George News
General location of a new fire station that will be jointly-run by the Washington City Fire Department and Hurricane Valley Fire Special Services District. | Image courtesy of Google Maps, St. George News

The Washington City Council approved the sale to Hurricane Valley Fire District of a 1.47-acre piece of land located approximately at 66 N. Coral Canyon Blvd. (next to the Texaco gas station).

An advantage of the Coral Canyon Boulevard site will be quicker access to the Coral Canyon area by state Route 9, as well as the industrial park where businesses like Litehouse Foods and Dats Trucking are located.

“(Hurricane) has as industrial area that needs … additional coverage (and) we need additional coverage in the Coral Canyon area,” Washington City Manager Roger Carter said.

Being jointly operated by the Washington City Fire Department and Hurricane Valley Fire District will have a significant impact on the insurance ratings in the area, Carter said, as well as emergency response times.

The new fire station is estimated to cost around $1.5 million and will be financed by a 30-year, $1 million loan from the from the state’s Permanent Community Impact Board to the Hurricane Valley Fire District. The CIB, as it is sometimes called, is also supplying a $500,000 grant on top of the loan.

The $1 million not covered by the grant will be split between Washington City and the fire district.

Fire crews battle a house fire in Hurricane, Utah, Feb. 25, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Travis Millett, St. George News
This February 2015 file photos shows Hurricane Valley fire crews battling a house fire in Hurricane, Utah, Feb. 25, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Travis Millett, St. George News

Payment received from the fire district will be used to offset the city’s equity position in the new fire station, Carter said.

In addition to the property sale, the City Council also approved an automatic and mutual aid fire and emergency medical services interlocal agreement between Washington City, the Hurricane Valley Fire District and Hildale.

“It’s a positive for both organizations, for both communities,” Washington City Fire Chief Matt Evans said.

While Washington City Fire has a mutual aid agreement with other agencies countywide, Evans said, that assistance needs to be called in and requested.

In my time here, no one has ever said no, Evens said, referring to mutual aid requests. Still, it can take time for the requested agencies to arrive at the scene.

In the case of an automatic aid agreement, dispatch doesn’t wait for Hurricane or Washington to make a request. If they are the nearest agency to one one another, they automatically rolled out.

Firefighters from Hurricane Valley Fire and Rescue, Washington Fire Department and St. George Fire Department gather outside the Purgatory Correctional Facility in Hurricane after a fire started in a drier at the jail. Mar. 11, 2016 | Photo by Don Gilman, St. George News.
This March 2016 file photo shows firefighters from Hurricane Valley Fire and Rescue, Washington Fire Department and St. George Fire Department outside the Purgatory Correctional Facility in Hurricane after a fire started in a dryer at the jail. Hurricane, Utah, March 11, 2016 | Photo by Don Gilman, St. George News.

While a Washington City Fire unit could be paged out to Hildale – and has been in the past, Carter said – Hurricane Valley Fire District could respond to the situation while units from Washington City are sent into Hurricane proper to supply back up and continuity of protection.

The agreement primarily has to do with responses to structure fires, Evans said.

It has no impact on emergency medical services like Gold Cross Ambulance which covers Washington City up to Washington Parkway. The Hurricane Valley Fire District covers the northern potion of Washington City between Washington Parkway and SR-9.

“I agree with what’s been done here, it’s a great thing,” Councilman Jeff Turek said.

Other business

The City Council passed a resolution naming the gazebo in Veterans Park after Quinten A. Nisson.

According to the resolution, the 97-year-old Washington City resident is a World War II veteran who served in Europe and later became the city’s mayor from 1950 to 1963. He also ran the Nisson Mercantile store from 1946 to 2011. He is credited with devoting countless volunteer honors to the community.

Nisson’s son, Garth Nisson, currently serves on the City Council.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

 

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