By Selwyn Harris
The condition of Pahrump Valley Fire and Rescue Services PVFRS Station Three was a topic of discussion among town board members and staff at last night’s town board meeting.
Fire Chief Scott Lewis requested permission to seek bids for the replacement of what he described as a dilapidated double-wide manufactured trailer located at the corner of Squaw Valley and E. Kellogg Road on the south end of town.
In the agenda’s backup materials, Lewis suggested that aging structure and site are long overdue for a renovation.
“Fire Station number three is located at 3650 E. Kellogg Rd. and consists of two unattached structures. The steel apparatus building was constructed in 1989 and the used 1995 manufactured trailer was placed onto the property in February 2001. The trailer had originally served Nye County as a modular courtroom with adjoining offices. In February 2001, the trailer was transported from the Nye County Road Department to the Kellogg location for housing of BLM seasonal firefighters,” he said.
More than seven years ago, the structure became occupied by PVFRS career firefighters, which essentially has been their “home away from home” ever since.
Lewis described the present living conditions at the location.
“The 18 year-old trailer is in poor condition and requires frequent maintenance. Areas of immediate concern include an open foundation with exposed supports and utilities, a severely degraded roof, and a deteriorated frame,” he said.
It is not the first time attempts were made to renovate the structure.
In 2005 and 2011, town representatives met with a Las Vegas firm to determine the feasibility of erecting a new site-built fire station to replace both Station Three structures.
Lewis said the expected costs to complete the project soared to more than $2 million, which was not a viable option at the time.
“The project for Station Three has been on our radar for the last several years. We had initial plans to erect a new facility with a ‘stick-built’ structure; however, the drop in the housing market placed that entire project on hold indefinitely. Considering the deteriorated condition of the current living facility, we felt it was in our best interest to move forward with the replacement with the exact same size to fit the original footprint however the interior design was completed by the firefighters. They all had input as to what that interior would look like to make it more functional,” he said.
The fire chief also said the present plans and design would save the town a substantial amount of money as opposed to the original plan.
“It will have a cost savings as far as better construction, less maintenance, and we will be in a better position to control expenses related to utilities and it will fit our operational objectives a lot better than the original. It also gives us better flexibility down the road if the housing market does turn around here, it allows us to proceed with the original project then we can place that structure elsewhere,” he said.
At present there are two firefighters who occupy Station Three at any given time.
Lewis said there are times when the crew is accompanied by a “ride along.”
“Along with the ride along, there could be as many as three and possibly four but that gives us some room to grow. We have to give consideration to the crew by making sure they occupy a safe structure. Buildings and Grounds Manager Matt Luis has done a great job putting on band-aids for that particular manufactured structure but it is time that we move forward with the replacement and that is what the proposal is all about,” he said.
Pahrump Town Manager Bill Kohbarger said he agrees with Lewis that the facility is in desperate need of a makeover.
“It is run-down and old. I think it’s time to replace them so we’re going out to get a bid for a modular unit to replace the units there,” he said.
Board Chair Harley Kulkin said he disagreed and has strong reservations about the proposal.
“The town is taking a pretty big hit on that because of people not having insurance and many are out of work. We are spending a lot more and losing money. I think I’m going to have a little trouble spending money on a new building,” he said.
Funding is expected to come from the General Fund Capital Improvement Account if town board members agree to a new building.
If the town board approves a $150,000 capital outlay to begin the project, installation of a new modular building could be complete in as little as 60 days. The project is not expected to disrupt any PVFRS services.
Board members also discussed whether or not to approve a scope of work for GC Wallace to provide construction documents, pre-bid services, and services for the Pahrump Fairgrounds fence construction in an amount not to exceed $14,360 payable from the Fairgrounds Room Tax Fund and Park Impact Fees.
Due to time constraints, results from the board’s action items will appear in Friday’s edition of the Pahrump Valley Times.