Fox Farm fire station remains closed for repairs
Great Falls Fire Rescue Station 4 on Fox Farm Road remains closed until further notice.
Three years ago, significant sewer and storm drain maintenance issues were identified at three of the city’s four fire stations and the Fox Farm station was determined to have the greatest repair need for Great Falls Fire Rescue.
The city awarded a $149,750 contract to Copper Creek Construction for plumbing upgrades at three of the city’s fire stations during a December meeting and repair work began Jan. 6.
While the work is going on, Station 4 is closed and the engine crew is operating out of Station 1 downtown.
Station 4 typically has the lowest call volume of the city’s stations, but the closure has increased response times in some case, but in other cases, it’s improved times, according to GFFR.
But as work began, a number of additional issues were discovered, including that lateral lines needed to be replaced in addition to the main sewer lines; when relocating drains in the station kitchen, black mold was found in the sink area along with extensive water damage; a similar situation was found in the station’s bathrooms.
Both areas required mold remediation and large scale remodeling of both to meet current code requirements including the installation of ADA compliant showers, adding cost to the project.
During the Feb. 4 meeting, City Manager Greg Doyon told commissioners that crews were digging out sewer and drain lines and replacing them with modern materials to make sure they drain properly. In some cases, they hadn’t been draining correctly and water was pooling, creating voids under the slabs, he said.
Electrical conduit had also been run through the concrete slabs and hadn’t been detected earlier on, but crews discovered it had deteriorated so running new conduit is also an additional task in the project, Doyon said in February.
Due to the changes and additional issues discovered during the maintenance work, the city chose to rebid the additional items to contain costs, according to GFFR. Preliminary drafting and designs have been completed, and the initial bids for the plumbing rough-in are due on July 3.
Station 4 construction will resume after a contractor has been approved, according to the city.
“Due to these unforeseen issues, Station 4 will remain closed until further notice. To maintain full emergency response capacity, the Station 4 crew will continue to respond from Station 1,” according to the city.
For questions about the project, contact Jeremy Jones, assistant fire chief, at 406-791-8968.