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Firefighter downtown Twin Falls

A firefighter gets geared up Dec. 25, 2015, at the Twin Falls Fire Department headquarters in downtown Twin Falls.

TWIN FALLS — The Twin Falls Fire Department needs to replace all three of its stations, and it may want to do so all at once.

Pivot North Architecture released a report earlier this year that rated the fire stations on their ability to meet current and future needs. It also estimated the costs to rebuild those stations and what it would cost to build an additional station in northeast Twin Falls.

A citizen committee has taken that study and will make its recommendations Monday for a plan of action to the City Council.

Fire Chief Les Kenworthy has sat in on all the advisory group’s meetings and believes the committee may ask to postpone the building of Fire Station Five on Hankins Road.

“We don’t have the funds to staff a full (new) station at this date,” Kenworthy told the Times-News.

He also hopes the committee will recommend that the fire department at least have the option to replace all three of its stations at the same time. By doing so, the department could save on the cost of inflation, if voters approve.

“We’re probably looking at some kind of bond,” he said.

In one hypothetical scenario, Twin Falls Fire Department could ask for a bond issue of $35.4 million to replace three stations, the Times-News previously reported.

The citizen advisory group has toured all the fire stations and also walked through a modern facility in Boise.

“It really doesn’t make sense to redo or remodel any of them,” Kenworthy said.

Station One in downtown Twin Falls would need to move to an undetermined location where it can have drive-through bays and engines wouldn’t have to back in, he said. The existing station could then be used by the Twin Falls Police Department.

Station Two would be moved north of the College of Southern Idaho on property the city has already purchased. And a new Station Three could be built on the same lot while the old one stays operational, Kenworthy said.

Meanwhile, Fire Station Four at the airport would have its needs addressed after the airport finishes its long-term planning, he said. Kenworthy is also trying to coordinate with other fire agencies to develop a regional training center for firefighters.

The citizen group presents to the Council at its regular meeting, which begins at 5 p.m. Monday in City Hall, 203 Main Ave. E.

Also at the meeting, the Council will consider a request from Randy Steadham to appeal a decision by the Parks and Recreation Commission regarding some trees in the right of way on Addison Avenue East. Steadham owns Four Seasons Tree Services and had asked to remove two cedar trees and a deciduous tree at 2188 Addison Ave. E. as part of a project for Zions Bank.

The Planning and Zoning Commission, acting as the Tree Commission, has approved only the removal of the deciduous tree, Parks and Recreation Director Wendy Davis said.

“The Tree Commission said there is nothing wrong with those trees,” Davis said.

Steadman, however, is appealing on the claim that the trees are in poor health and their root systems could be damaged with the installation of a sprinkler system. The City Council has the power to overturn the commission’s decision.

Also before the fire station advisory committee’s presentation, the Council is scheduled to consider an extension to the Twin Falls Golf Club agreement through Feb. 22.

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