Lease Agreement for Temporary Fire Rescue Facility



Request to authorize County Executive to execute lease for temporary fire rescue facility



Messrs: Tucker, Foley, Davis, Trank, Eggleston







June 14, 2006


ACTION:                                INFORMATION:   



  ACTION:     X                      INFORMATION:   










During the FY06/07 budget development process, the Board approved a strategic initiative to begin rescue services in the Hollymead Development Area one year ahead of the Northern Fire Rescue station scheduled opening. The proposal included hiring eight fire fighter/ALS staff and placing the personnel in a temporary facility to staff an ambulance 24/7.


The strategic initiative was based on the fact that on average, it takes an ambulance more than 13 minutes to arrive on scene in the Hollymead Development Area from the Charlottesville-Albemarle Rescue Squad (CARS) location on McIntire Road.  A 13 minute response time is more than three times the four minute response time goal as defined in the Comprehensive Plan. Staff believes that the current 13 minute response time is likely to increase over time due to: a) increased traffic along the Route 29 corridor, making it more difficult for CARS to reach the Hollymead PDA; and b) the EMS call volume has outpaced the number of staffed ambulances in the system, making it more likely that an ambulance will not immediately be available to respond.


A 24/7 staffed ambulance located in a temporary facility in Hollymead would serve the citizens of the Hollymead Development Area, rural areas of Earlysville, portions of Stony Point, and would back up the Charlottesville-Albemarle Rescue in the southern 29N corridor and the urban ring.




3.0 Enhance the quality of life for all Albemarle County Citizens; 3.1 Make the County a safe and healthy community in which citizens feel secure to live, work and play.




Since the FY06/07 budget was adopted, staff has been working to develop options for a temporary fire rescue facility in the Hollymead Development Area.  Staff based their search on four main factors: location, accessibility, availability, and cost.


Staff looked at the option of using the existing Earlysville and Seminole Trail fire stations. However, both stations are approximately 4.5 miles from the middle of Hollymead and therefore, would not have a significant impact on meeting the four minute response time standard as defined in the Comprehensive Plan. Staff also looked at utilizing the existing fire rescue station on the airport grounds. However, the airport fire rescue station was not designed to be a 24/7 facility and does not have sleeping quarters or a kitchen. 


Staff narrowed the options down to three alternatives; the second floor of the Amvest-Worell Building on airport grounds, a garage/office at 3690 Dobelann Drive, and an open lot at 1581 Airport Road. A comparison of the properties is included in Attachment A.


The Amvest-Worell Building requires few modifications, the cost is reasonable and competitive, and operational start-up can be accomplished very quickly. The 3690 Dobelann Drive and 1581 Airport Road sites require the placement of a temporary trailer and utility access, which offsets any other cost savings. It would also require significant preparation.


Staff believes the Amvest-Worell Building is the most desirable of the options from the standpoint of location, accessibility, availability, and cost. The average cost/sq. ft of similar property is $14-18 without utilities (Summit Reality, June 1, 2006). The Amvest-Worell Building is priced at $11.40 and includes utilities.  Staff has been working with Mr. Kent Hunter of Amvest Corporationís management staff to develop an acceptable lease agreement.


If the Board approves proceeding with the lease agreement, staff estimates that the rescue services in the Hollymead Development Area will begin during the September 2006 time frame. The project includes hiring the eight fire fighter/ALS staff in July, conducting an accelerated recruit school during the summer, making minor modifications to the temporary facility, and taking delivery of the ambulance.




$30,000 (funds previously approved in the FY06/07 budget)




Staff recommends that the Board authorize the County Executive to execute a lease agreement with Amvest-Worell Joint Venture, approved as to content and form by the County Attorney, for the second floor of the Amvest-Worell building for use as a temporary fire rescue facility.




Attachment A - Northern Ambulance Temporary Facility Options
Return to consent agenda

Return to regular agenda