Potowomut fire station bids top $2M bond

John Howell
Posted 10/7/14

Although the designs for the proposed Potowomut fire station were scaled back and contractors were provided a base design that eliminated some rooms, bids for the job still exceed the $2 million …

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Potowomut fire station bids top $2M bond


Although the designs for the proposed Potowomut fire station were scaled back and contractors were provided a base design that eliminated some rooms, bids for the job still exceed the $2 million voters approved for the facility.

Seven contractors submitted bids for the station, ranging from a low base bid of $2,295,000 by Ahlborg Construction to a high of $2,899,000 from E.W. Burman. Alternate bids that included additional meeting rooms in the station ranged from $2,587,000 submitted by Ahlborg to Burman’s high of $3,319,000.

The station would be built at the site of the former Potowomut School, which was closed because of declining enrollment with students now attending Cedar Hill School. The former school has been razed.

The latest round of bids puts a dent in the administration’s plan to eliminate its $350,000 annual contract with East Greenwich to provide coverage to Potowomut. Coverage would be provided by the new station, with the transfer of one of two engine companies now housed at the station next to Aldrich Junior High School. As there would not be a need for additional personnel or equipment, the administration reasons service to Potowomut can be enhanced at a reduction in cost.

“Chief Armstrong and his team will be assessing all of the bids that were received. At the end of their analysis, they will forward a number of recommendations to me and then we will meet to discuss,” Mayor Scott Avedisian responded by email when asked what would be done at this point. Avedisian expects the analysis to be completed in about 10 days.

In the first round of bids opened early this summer, all estimates to build the station exceeded $3 million.

Chief Edmund Armstrong was hopeful with the elimination of the station as a secondary emergency operations center – which required a bombproof and bulletproof building – that costs could be reduced to $2 million or less. As an added precaution, meeting rooms were eliminated from the base bid.

Had bids come within the $2 million bond issue approved by voters, Armstrong was hopeful to bring a recommendation to the City Council this month and for an award to be made so construction could start before the end of the year. Had that been the case, Armstrong thought the station could be up and operational by this time next year.

In addition to coverage by East Greenwich, Warwick firefighters based at the Cowesett Road station also respond to Potowomut fire and rescue calls. Depending on availability, one or the other department responds except in situations requiring both departments.

It is expected that a Potowomut-based company would respond to mutual aid calls from East Greenwich and North Kingstown.

Ward 9 Councilman Steve Merolla said that could be a source of added revenue for the city, as Warwick bills for rescue calls made outside its borders.


6 comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here

  • allent

    just what we need to save us from all the fires rampaging the city.....ba ha ha

    Tuesday, October 7, 2014 Report this


    it also bills for runs in the city also steve you know that 2.5mil. but were going to need all of that and them some to bring back the fleet that is on the way out. MR hepdog is that all you do is cry, we need a fire station down there and that it. CAN PUT A PRICE TAG ON FIRE OR POLICE

    Tuesday, October 7, 2014 Report this

  • TheDeal

    Fires don't rampage this city because WFD is on scene and aggressive enough to keep them contained and damages minimal. There are plenty of fires in this city but when the majority are put out before the news cameras even arrive they tend to not make the 11pm newscast. But what does Hepdog know? He's too busy trolling comment sections like anyone actually cares about his opinion!!

    Tuesday, October 7, 2014 Report this

  • maggie123

    Sell Potowmut to East Greenwich and be done with it! Rather than this fire station servicing EG and NK why not pay EG or NK to handle the calls in Potowmut...

    Wednesday, October 8, 2014 Report this

  • Unionthug

    I take it Maggie can't read.

    Wednesday, October 8, 2014 Report this

  • Larrylawrence

    Merolla said it could be added revenue,,,,,,now I'm very confused. Municipalities Bill for rescue runs and we've been told all along only a fire truck would be stationed at the new location so where does the revenue come from. More political blah blah blah, what's the real story can someone please let us know before we spend millions on a building to handle how many fires on the Potowomut peninsula?

    Thursday, October 9, 2014 Report this