Fire Station #1 Construction Project - Updates will be posted online at www.kpb.us/ces01.

Planning for the Future: Central Emergency Service (CES) Fire Station #1 needs to be replaced. It is the primary response location for the City of Soldotna and headquarters to five CES substations that serve the unincorporated communities of Ridgeway, Sterling, Kalifornsky, Kasilof and Funny River. Meeting the service area needs for ~32,000 residents, summer influx of visitors to state and national forests as well as providing emergency response services on the Kenai and Kasilof Rivers. It is the busiest fire station on the Kenai Peninsula, providing ~3,000 responses annually. Additionally, CES supports wildland fire operations to the Alaska Division of Forestry and provides auto-aid to the City of Kenai.

Selection Committee - January 2017: Individuals representing CES, Purchasing & Contracting, Land Management, GIS, and the City of Soldotna developed a rigorous process to identify essential criteria for operational facility and applied the criteria using the spatial analysis of GIS. The Soldotna City Engineer was consulted regarding interactions with public infrastructure. The evaluation matrix included locational criteria fitting the purpose and need, verification of site conditions through soil test holes, and completion of an independent appraisal. In all, more than 11 sites were evaluated including both borough and privately owned properties in the Soldotna region.

Recommended Site: The committee recommended the 4.27 acre site that is located at the projected southeast corner of East Redoubt Avenue and Homestead Way. This site includes a right-of-way extension of Homestead Way to connect to East Redoubt Avenue. The primary operational egress route is via Mullen Ave to the intersection of Sterling Highway and Spur Highway (referred to by locals as the “Y”). This site will best serve the needs of the project, from daily operations to staging and storage needs well into the next 40+ years. The committee also noted that the site is well situated to maximize effective response and support roles for the communities that are served.

 

Q: Doesn’t Station #1 just serve the City of Soldotna?

A: No; While Station #1 is the primary response location for the City of Soldotna, it is also the headquarters to five CES substations that serve the unincorporated communities of Ridgeway, Sterling, Kalifornsky, Kasilof and Funny River. Meeting the service area needs for ~32,000 residents, summer influx of visitors to state and national forests as well as providing emergency response services on the Kenai and Kasilof Rivers. It is the busiest fire station on the Kenai Peninsula, providing ~3,000 responses annually. Additionally, CES supports wildland fire operations to the Alaska Division of Forestry and provides auto-aid to the City of Kenai.

Q: Can’t you just add onto the existing station?

A: There are no more options to add on. Station #1 was originally built in 1956 with additions added to meet response demands in 1964, 1972 and 1984. The current station and staging area has far exceeded useful life and operational capacity, with issues such as significant structural deficiencies, insufficient ADA compliance, minimal sleeping quarters per gender regulations, no fleet maintenance bays, and no secured property storage for water or snow rescue vehicles.

Q: What’s the total project cost?

A: The estimated cost is $11 million; this cost estimate includes land acquisition, design & engineering, and construction phases.

Q: Is there any money set aside for the project?

A: There is $400,000 proposed in the fiscal year 2018/2019 CES budget, which must be approved by assembly this spring.

A: The borough has also submitted an $11M capital projects proposal to the state. It will be up to the legislators to approve the funding request either in whole or partially. The state funds would be approved as a capital grant starting July 1, 2018. Click HERE to view the capital request.

Q: Where will you build the new Station #1?

A: The site selection is currently underway, and the final site recommendations will be determined Spring 2018. The committee includes City of Soldotna, CES and borough representatives.

Q: What will the new station look like?

A: The new facility will include apparatus bays, training/conference room, kitchen, common living area, gender-specific sleeping quarters, locker rooms and restrooms. Constructing the new station will provide fire personnel with a facility and property to effectively meet the service area’s growing demands of emergency response capabilities.

Q: How many public meetings have you had on this project?

A: CES personnel will be presenting the construction project throughout the year at community events in order to engage the public. Your input is important! Also, the project has been a topic of multiple public meetings and submitted as a state capital request for the last four years.

Q: Does the borough plan to fund this project through a bond measure?

A: The borough intends to pursue state funding and grant applications to offset project costs; however, it is possible that a bond measure may come before the voters.

Q: When will the new station be completed?

A: The estimated construction phases are Spring 2020 - Fall 2021, which is based upon having total funding in hand.