City planning to move fuel station from downtown fire station to Park and Rec complex

The City Commission will meet Wednesday night, Nov. 4, since it always moves when their typical meetings night falls on a federal election.

During the Nov. 4 meeting, commissioners will consider a $471,362 contract to NWESTCO, LLC to relocate the current fueling station at Fire Station No. 1 downtown to the Park and Recreation complex.

The project consists of design and construction of a two compartment 20,000 gallon, double wall horizontal UL-2085 above-ground fuel storage tank system, and support foundation, fuel dispensers, tank monitoring equipment along with necessary ancillary facilities including paving, fencing, access gates and storm water management facilities.

The fuel system at the downtown fire station includes underground tanks that were installed in 1991 with an expected service life of 25 years.

During that time, the tanks have had a clean inspection record with the Montana Department of Environmental Equality and no known releases have occurred, according to the city staff report.

The city removed the underground tanks of the same timeframe at the Public Works complex and in doing so, found the tanks were in good condition, but the piping connecting the tanks to the fuel pumps was “severely corroded” and would have been the most likely source of leakage and contamination.

“By removing the old underground tanks and installing new above ground fuel storage tanks, the city will be reducing the risk of tank failure and leakage that would subject the City of Great Falls to fines and cleanup fees. Additionally, in 2019 the DEQ added additional safety testing procedures for underground storage tank facilities. Under these new regulations the city would incur additional costs of $7,500 -$10,000 for annual maintenance and testing,” according to the staff report.

The access to the current fuel island at the downtown fire station is off 1st Avenue South with limited space for parking and removing the existing station will provide additional parking for the fire station, according to city staff. The current island has minimal protection from vehicular damage or vandalism, according to city staff, and the new station at Park and Rec will have additional security inside a fenced complex.

The city received two bids for the project ranging from $471,362 to $796,226 with NWESTCO submitting the “lowest responsible bid,” according to the city staff report.

The city has budgeted Central Garage Machinery and Equipment Funds for the project.