Cocoa Beach will move forward with construction of a $3.75 million fire station and fire department headquarters next to City Hall after more than a decade of discussion.
Commissioners resisted suggestions to make a decision on a new City Hall and police station, Local 6 News partner Florida Today reported.
“The police station might go across the street, it might go somewhere else,” Mayor Dave Netterstrom said. “We need to lock in this one, go forward, don’t blink an eye.
“I don’t want to slow down the project at all.”
The city commission unanimously approved the architecture style and authorized the city manager to contract Melbourne-based Certified General Contractors for the design-build project.
The three-story, mid-century modern design is expected be able to withstand hurricane-force winds and serve as a central command location for rescue and recovery during a disaster.
In the event that a storm surge floods the first floor, fire vehicles would be sent to higher ground and the second and third floors would become the city’s operations center during the emergency.
The building would also be a public-service base for insurance representatives and recovery groups.
Work to prepare the site is expected to begin in about two weeks and construction could start in May with completion in early 2015.
The design was created by Winter Park-based Architects Design Group.
Plans for the fire station include a 60-foot tower for firefighter training. Commissioners have supported allowing the structure to surpass the city’s 45-foot building-height limit.
Commissioners would decide whether to allow the tower before the final architectural plans got to the city’s planning board for approval, according to City Manager Bob Majka.
Financing the construction of the new fire station will cost $5.12 million over 20 years, according to city estimates.
After the fire station is operational, commissioners are expected consider options to replace the 1960s-era building that serves as City Hall and police station.
One option is to build a smaller City Hall across street on the site of the current fire station.
The new City Hall would have customer service, meeting space and a police station, while other city functions would be moved to the city building at the water treatment plant.
Commissioner Tim Tumulty said the city has been discussing the issue for about 15 years and he wants to move forward.
“We’ve been talking about it, trying to come up with the best possible solution,” Tumulty said.
“We can’t come up with the perfect solution, you will never build it.”