TWIN FALLS — The city will pay an architectural firm to analyze the condition and needs of Twin Falls’ fire stations.

The City Council unanimously approved Monday to pay Pivot North Architecture up to $236,360 to come up with a master plan for the next 20 years. The plan will look at its existing stations downtown, on Washington Avenue and at the airport. It will also examine moving Fire Station No. 2 to Cheney Drive and building a future fire station on Hankins Road.

The money will come out of fire impact fees the city collects through building permits. It has more than $1 million in that fund, dedicated for longterm fire protection projects.

The firm’s summary report should come out next year in time for the annual budgetary process.

“This project is really a needs analysis,” Deputy City Manager Brian Pike said.

Clint Sievers with Pivot North Architecture said the report will not commit the city to do anything with its stations. But it will develop components for a floor plan that could also be used for future stations. Each fire station has unique challenges for determining what improvements, if any, should be done.

Pivot North Architecture has contracted with another firm with experience in fire station construction projects.

“What Clint is proposing now is really the foundation for the stations moving forward,” Pike said. “We haven’t done anything with Station 3 since 1980.”

One Twin Falls property owner disagreed with the amount of money that could be spent.

“I believe in fiscal responsibility,” Carter Killinger said. “Don’t we have brains here in Twin Falls?”

He recommended city engineers do the forecast for future expansion, rather than hiring someone from the outside. Flipping through a wad of bills, he told the Council, “Saving a lot of money. This is what this is about.”

Two of the Council members, Greg Lanting and Christopher Reid, were not present at the meeting.

Councilwoman Nikki Boyd said the city should recognize the space needs of female firefighters who may wish to join the department. It also needs to keep in mind its responsibility to protect new subdivisions, she said.

“We need a plan and we need one now,” Boyd said.

Also at the meeting, the Council:

Extended an agreement to provide fire protection services to Twin Falls Rural Fire District for one year.

Approved Starr Corp.’s guaranteed maximum price of $268,244 for the Hansen Street improvements.

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