Site made ready for Kasilof station

Prep work under way on area that will become new CES firehouse

Posted: Sunday, August 20, 2006


  Rendering courtesy of Kluge and

Rendering courtesy of Kluge and

Work is under way again at the site of the future fire station in Kasilof.

“There shouldn’t be much downtime now,” Chris Mokracek, fire chief at Central Emergency Services in Soldotna, said in regard to the station that will be built along the Sterling Highway across from Tustumena Elementary School about a mile south of the Kalifornsky Beach Road intersection.

Last fall, CES-area voters authorized the use of $2.5 million from a general obligation bond sale for the fire station’s construction and for renovations to the Funny River fire station.

In May, the design contract went out to bid and was won by Kluge and Associates, a Kenai-based architectural firm.

“We should see a finished drawing in about a week,” said Rob Robson, capital project director for the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

Cook Inlet Construction won the bid to do the site work, which is currently under way. According to Robson, this work includes land clearing and grubbing out all stumps, putting in the well and subsurface septic system, building the pad and developing approach paths to the facility from the Sterling Highway.

Construction work from Homer Electric Association, Alaska Communication Systems and Enstar also is scheduled, according to Robson.

“The next step will be putting the construction contract out for bid. We’re hoping to have that done by mid-September,” Robson said.

The completed station will be 6,000 square feet in size and have front and back doors to the three deep double bays where firefighting vehicles will be held. There will also be a community hall area for public meetings, according to Mokracek.

“There will also be crew quarters for a 24-hour-a-day staff that we could grow into as the budget comes on line in the future,” he said.

Initially, though, Mokracek said the station will be manned by a core group of 10-15 volunteers from the Kasilof area.

“We’re actively recruiting,” he said.

As to the firefighting vehicles, Mokracek said there will be a fire engine capable of dispensing 1,000 gallons of water per minute, and the vehicle will be designed to deal with homes in heavily wooded areas as is common in Kasilof.

“It’ll have a short wheel base for fighting wildland fires and getting easy access into areas down there,” Mokracek said.

The fire engine will be augmented by a tanker-pumper with a 3,000 gallon water capacity.

“We’ll also have a quick-response vehicles of some sort,” he said.

Although not an ambulance, this vehicle would allow first responders to reach victims quickly to provide medical care, Mokracek said.

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