Fire station at Satsop Business Park under consideration

Grays Harbor Fire District 5 is considering installing a new fire station at the Satsop Business Park.

Fire Chief Dan Prater said he had been researching the possibility for some time. When the fire district was recently assessed by the state ratings board, inspectors faulted the fire district for not having any stations on that side of the Satsop River, he said. Adding a fire station could lower fire insurance costs for those all over the district, Prater said.

Prater noted that during the 2007 storm, Fire District 5 had to rely on Fire District 2 to respond to incidents because of flooding along the Satsop River.

Prater said the district is teaming up with the Public Development Authority, which is in charge of the business park.

A draft copy of the lease says that the proposal “will enhance the safety of other tenants, Public Development Authority employees, business invitees and protect the improvements in Satsop Business Park.” Under the lease, the fire district would take over an existing 14,400 square foot building at 41 Tower Boulevard, as well as the surrounding 1.76 acres.

Prater said the goal would be to renovate the building into a new fire station. The fire district already does training work at the business park.

The Public Development Authority would waive rent on the building for the first seven years of the initial lease, which will go until the end of 2042. The rent would be $1,320 per month, which equals $750 per acre per month for the 1.76 acres. The rent would be increased three percent per year.

Prater said the lease must still be approved by both his fire commissioners and the Public Development Authority.

“Under the lease, we’d have seven years to figure out if this could work,” Prater said. “That’s a lot of time to help us find grants. I’d say we’re at step one of a 10-step plan.”

Prater said the fire district is evaluating services throughout the district. The East County-based district recently opened up its existing Satsop station to 12-hour shifts with the goal of having a 24-hour crew.

“Whenever possible, we’re trying to improve our service level,” Prater said.

Copies of the draft lease agreement were provided to the Grays Harbor County commissioners earlier this week and the commissioners waived a formal 30-day notice for a hearing to take place.

The Public Development Authority is expected to approve a resolution during its Aug. 21 regular meeting.