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Six new fire stations slated for SCV

• Plan will cost over $78 million

Posted: May 14, 2008 2:16 a.m.
Updated: July 15, 2008 5:03 a.m.
 
The Santa Clarita Valley is adding to its stable of fire stations.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved a recommendation that would allow financing to build six new stations at a cost of $78.6 million.

Specifically, the board approved a motion to allow Tax-Exempt Commercial Paper to provide interim financing of the construction and to enable the Department of Public Works to begin designing the stations.

The new stations will enable local fire crews to jump on wildfires when they begin as brush fires.

"These will greatly enhance our ability," said Deputy Fire Chief John Tripp, who commands the North Operations Bureau of the county Fire Department, which includes all of Santa Clarita Valley.

"When crews are assigned to brush fires, this will allow us to jump on them when they're small," he said. "And, when single fires line up, every now and then, to become a perfect storm, we'll be still be able to respond, with 127 engines, to that fire and still maintain our day-to-day operation."

The board's decision comes just seven months after a series of wildfires whipped through Santa Clarita Valley prompting fire officials to call on out-of-town fire departments for help.

The fires burned close to 100,000 acres on all sides of the valley, injuring at least half a dozen people and destroying nearly two dozen homes.

The new stations were defined for the board as:

• Fire Station #104, a cost of about $14.7 million

• Fire Station #128, for almost $12 million

• Fire Station #132, a little more than $10 million

• Fire Station #143, for a cost of about $10.75 million

• Fire Station #150, costing $19.5 million

• Fire Station #156, for about $11.7 million

A Tax-Exempt Commercial Paper arrangement is, most often, an unsecured short-term loan, usually issued to finance short-term liabilities, that provides the debt holders - in this case bond holders - some level of tax preference on the earnings from their investment.

Ultimately, the stations will be paid for through the issuance of long-term bonds which are expected to be repaid by the Consolidated Fire Department.

Three of the six stations already have a presence in Santa Clarita at Sand Canyon Road, on Copperhill Road and on Golden Valley Road near the Santa Clara River. Tuesday's funding approval will put each of those operations in permanent buildings.

The three brand new stations are expected to be built on Whites Canyon Road at Plum Canyon Road, on Golden Valley Road at Highway 14 and on Hasley Canyon Road.

Tuesday's decision also authorizes the Acting Director of Public Works to draw up agreements with the following builders: Martinez Architects, Inc., to design stations 104 and 128 for not more than $1,276,000; Osborn Architects to do the same for stations 132 and 143 for $982,000 and GKK Works to design fire station 150 for not more than $973,000.

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