Members of Vinton Town Council approved funding to add a new bunkroom and other improvements to Fire Station No. 2.
The council agreed to appropriate about $315,000 to the renovations, with half of those funds coming from town funds and about half from Roanoke County. The county agreed to fund half of the project up to $300,000 from money left over from a project to replace emergency generators at fire and rescue stations.
The majority of those funds will go to F & S Building Innovations Inc. for building construction. About $35,000 will go to design and construction administration, and about $5,000 will be spent on furnishings.
The chosen bid was the lowest of six that met all of the town’s qualifications, Town Manager Chris Lawrence said.
Mayor Brad Grose called the project an “important renovation.”
The construction company did a similar renovation in Christiansburg, which has a firehouse nearly identical to the one in Vinton, he said.
Renovations include a new bunkroom for up to 10 employees; improvements to the kitchen, bathrooms and locker room; painting; and installation of a heating and cooling system.
The added bunkroom and renovations were part of a plan to increase fire services in response to more calls for help in the area. Vinton is second only to Cave Spring in total fire and rescue calls across Roanoke County.
Prior to renovation plans, Vinton did not have 24/7 career-staff fire services. The town had only volunteers to respond to calls outside of the hours that career firefighters worked. Vinton does have 24/7 emergency services.
A mutual aid agreement with Roanoke allows Roanoke Fire-EMS crews to respond to Vinton calls, but it got to the point that the city crews were responding to many of the town’s calls while town firefighters were not.
The city called for Vinton to reciprocate with at least one 24-hour, seven-days-a-week fire truck to respond to Vinton and Roanoke calls. Vinton subsequently approved hiring new firefighters and station renovations.
Vinton now has 18 career staff and about 20 active volunteers.
For more information, view www.roanoke.com