Marietta fire station upgrades

Exhaust removal systems, new roofs coming soon

Marietta Fire Department’s Chief C.W. Durham has his eyes on not only the health and safety of the community, but also his team.

“We’ve been very proactive in the last five years to also look at the safety of ourselves and reduce the risk of injury,” said Durham.

Marietta City Council most recently authorized a match of local funds for a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant last week, only 5 percent of the total cost for one of the coming upgrades to the city’s firestations.

“It’s a diesel exhaust removal system,” Durham explained Tuesday. “It’s a $140,000 project and the city’s match is only $6,600.”

But that’s not the only coming upgrade for the city’s first responders. Plans are in the works and will be discussed today at the Lands, Buildings and Parks Committee meeting concerning the replacement of roofs for stations three and four.

“We’re just at the point where we need them replaced before they start leaking,” said Durham of the two buildings roofs, which he estimated hadn’t been replaced in the last 15 years.

The fire station’s budget is primarily funded through the city’s fire levy, which is projected to bring in just more than $1 million this year to cover basic operations and local matches for equipment improvements.

The two upcoming projects are as follows:

Exhaust removal

With 10 trucks between the downtown station and stations three, at the corner of Glendale Road and Colegate Drive, and four up on Harmar Hill, diesel exhaust permeates not only the garages where the trucks stay when not out on runs, but also the adjacent living quarters.

“There are six downtown and then two at each hill station,” said Durham.

That means firefighters and rescue squad members are breathing in the fumes without protection when cleaning gear and trucks, sleeping and eating meals.

“And diesel exhaust is a known carcinogen,” explained Durham. “So we’re extremely fortunate to have received this grant for what essentially is a slinky-like hose that will hook up directly to the exhaust and with a vacuum pull that out to a stack on the roof.”

The fire chief explained that the systems to be installed would move along a track above the truck and automatically dislocate after the truck leaves the bay.

“So the entire time its inside those fumes are 100 percent captured,” he said. “We hope to have the installation over the winter months after it goes through the bid packet process.

Roof replacement

While still in the planning and design stage, the city’s engineering department is working with a contractor to put together proposed work plans for the two stations’ roof replacements.

“We’re trying to get direction on where we want to go with design,” explained Project Manager Eric Lambert. “I want to make sure (council) is on board with the direction we’re recommending.”

And that recommendation is for a metal replacement roof rather than a fiberglass shingle one, he explained.

“The best appropriate cost is in effect saying (metal) is the lowest lifecycle cost,” he said. “Not to say it’s without cost or is the lowest cost but it’s the best use of government funds.”

Current estimates place the approximate price difference at $22 per square foot for a metal roof versus $12.50 per square foot for the fiberglass, according to a draft from the planning and design contractor,Thrasher.

Lambert said the current contract with Thrasher is for a total of $24,500.

“But the (metal) mold roof should have a 30-year life cycle at least,” he explained. “Whereas fiberglass is at least 15 years.”

Currently both roofs are sealed with spray foam, but the practice has been discontinued and requires too much continuing maintenance.

“They’ve recoated it but it’s a technology that you need to keep applying,” said Lambert. “If you look at it the foam is blistering and coming off and the company that put it on doesn’t do that anymore.”

Lambert said regardless of which option the city goes the current spray foam roofs will be removed prior to replacement.

“We would love to get one started as early as this year and hope to have both done by the end of next year,” he said.

Council’s Lands, Buildings and Parks Committee will discuss the roofs today at 5:15 in room 10 of the Armory, 241 Front St., Marietta.

If you go

¯ Marietta City Council’s Lands Buildings and Parks Committee will discuss roof replacement options today at its 5:15 p.m. meeting.

¯ The LBP meeting will follow Council’s Streets Committee meeting which is scheduled for 4:15 p.m. today.

¯ All council meetings are held in room 10 of the Armory, 241 Front St., Marietta.

Source: Marietta City Administration.