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Front Page » July 24, 2007 » Local News » East Carbon-sunnyside Panel Moves Forward with CIB Reques...
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East Carbon-sunnyside Panel Moves Forward with CIB Request for Joint Safety Complex Funding

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Sun Advocate reporter

An aerial display of the location for the proposed East Carbon/Sunnyside Public Safety Building. The site has egress and ingress from both U.S. Highway 123 and Circle Way, along with parking on the east side of the structure.

On July 19, the joint East Carbon-Sunnyside public safety building board met to finalize architectural plans concerning the two cities' funding venture.

The meeting was the first conducted with all board members in attendance, including Liz Kourianos, who was the deciding voice in selecting the proposed location of the joint facility.

The meeting took place among continuing speculation that members of East Carbon's council wish to terminate the city's involvement in the joint project.

During Sunnyside's last council meeting, East Carbon's Darlene Kuhns approached the officials with an apology for her position regarding the public safety building.

"I am sorry we stuck our nose into your request for funding and your attempt to obtain a public safety building," said East Carbon Councilmember Kuhns. "It is my feeling that you should move on for funding on your own."

While Kuhns and East Carbon Councilmember Darma Lopez continue to lobby for their position, the board continues to move forward with a joint funding venture.

Architect Paul Brown of Barker and Associates gave a detailed presentation of the buildings location and structure at the July 19 meeting.

"This is not the final design configuration of this building," stated Brown. "This is the initial floor plan that the CIB agreed on over eight months ago."

The Permanent Community Impact Board had previously saw these plans and agreed that the space was adequate to house all equipment owned by Sunnyside and East Carbon.

The current design will be located in the northeast corner of the Circle Way property on U.S. Highway 123 in Sunnyside.

The complex will include space for six fire trucks and three ambulances with room to move around safely.

The facility will also include offices, training facilities, industrial laundry and storage space for the two cities.

According to the architect, the building will be constructed in the northeast quadrant of the property and leveled from the entrance so the complex will not be in the 100- or 500-year flood plain.

"The flood can also be avoided vertically," explained Brown. "Even though the southwest region of the building is near the flood plain it does not reside within it because it will be above the margin."

Architect Paul Brown reviews plans for the proposed safety building.

East Carbon's representatives on the board had continuing questions concerning the building's location. They also had questions about whether the complex would be totally accessible to East Carbon emergency personnel during a flood.

According to Kourianos and Brown, the complex would be accessible. They explained that the flood plain dips below the highway before the first inlet to Circle Way. Therefore, people approaching the building from East Carbon could turn onto Circle Way and approach the ingress to the punlic safety complex.

The building will be constructed within ingress and egress points on U.S. Highway 123 and Circle Way.

With the questions answered, the community members in attendance at the meeting voiced opinions and frustration with the amount of time it has taken the cities to move forward.

"Both cities councils have exhausted every possibility and voted I don't know how many times on this issue," stated Sunnyside emergency medical technician Barbara Robinett. "It is time for us to move forward and really get after the funding for this building."

Brown pointed out that he has seen construction costs rise 15 percent to 20 percent in the last couple of years. The double digit type of inflation will significantly impact the cost of the joint public safety facility.

"The faster you can get this project moving, the better off you are going to be," stated Brown.

The architect reported that once underway the facility could be erected in seven to nine months.

"Our move now is to set a time line for gathering documentation and submitting it to the CIB," commented Kourianos. "The CIB does not want to receive documents for this project piece meal. The two cites need to get all of their documents in order and submit a new joint funding application. This information needs to go in front of the fund manager before we can even get on the CIB's agenda."

It is the hope of Kourianos and the board that architectural plans and the applications will be approved in time to get the proposal in front of the CIB for their August funding meeting.

While some within the East Carbon council continue to see the joint facility as something that is not in the best interest of the city or its firefighters, the East Carbon City Mayor showed his full support for the project by meetings end.

"I am fully behind this project," concluded Mayor Orlando LaFontaine. "I asked a ton of questions because I needed to get some things straight, but come on, how often does this community get the opportunity to receive $2 million worth of assets? I have heard certain individuals say that the current facilities East Carbon has are just fine, well I am here to tell you that they are not. The volunteer firefighters and EMT's of this community deserve a safe and up-to-date facility for their equipment and training. Our city council has voted three times on this issue and the first vote was unanimous in favor of this project. We are moving forward with this regardless of the opposition."

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