City & Government, Cottage Grove, Creswell, Public Safety & Health

Wooten: New station would be district hub

South Lane County Fire & Rescue Chief John Wooten provided artist conceptual drawing and architectural schematics for the new station at this week’s Creswell City Council Work Session. Erin Tierney/The Chronicle

CRESWELL – South Lane County Fire & Rescue Chief John Wooten this week updated Creswell City Council on current safety concerns and future ideals for a proposed new fire station.
Station 203 is sandwiched between the City Hall and the Community Center on South 1st Street. The proposed location for the new station is at the city-owned Creswell Community Center, which would be demolished for the station. The plan would effectively swap ownership of the two parcels between the City and the fire district.
The new station would be listed as a bond measure, Wooten explained. The 2016 apparatus bond is to be paid off in 2021, and SLCF&R would try to renew it for the facility at the same cost at 30 cents per $1,000. ”We are not asking for new money, we are not asking for an increase,” he said. ”This is renewal for the same amount.”
The measure would include a retrofit to the Cottage Grove station, which would give the building another 40 years of life, Wooten said.
Additionally, ”Creswell would not be reliant on the Cottage Grove station for support. For the whole north side of District, Creswell would become the command post.”
Eventually, the station would have administration staffed at the Creswell station and the fire marshall for the district would move to the Creswell, he said.
He said events that are held at the Cottage Grove station could also be put on in Creswell, like the Breakfast with Santa event, and that movie nights would be safer because they will be held in a gated area and the City wouldn’t have to close down the streets.
Further, the current station is not safe, Wooten explained.
The current fire station was built in 1953. Wooten said that its 50-year lifespan expired over 20 years ago and is no way Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant.
”All the bathrooms are upstairs. We can’t have public meetings there because of that,” Wooten said, noting that the fire apparatus keeps getting bigger and cannot fit into the current station.
”We couldn’t put a second fire engine in there if we wanted to,” he said.
There have been several looks at District facilities over the past two decades, Wooten said, which does up to seismic standard in the event of a catastrophe. ”If the ground shakes, it’s coming down,” he said.



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