[3/17/22] No Furniture Now For Winthrop’s New Fire Station

Posted in Fire and EMS

The new Winthrop fire station is expected to be completed mid-summer, but according to Okanogan County Fire District 6 chief Cody Acord, it’ll start as a bare-bones facility with no furniture or landscaping.

Construction on the Horizon Flats Road facility, which was initially slated for completion in June, is a few months behind schedule because of delays in permitting. The contractor couldn’t get supplies until all permits were approved, and that, coupled with supply-chain issues, has increased costs for the $4-million project by about $152,000.

The district still expects to move equipment from the current Winthrop station on Englar Street to the new station this summer, and they’ll start responding to calls from the new facility in September. But they’ll be working out of a fairly empty building for a while.

To cut costs, the district eliminated furniture, landscaping and some signage, and they haven’t filled a position for a captain at the Winthrop station who left to take another job. If costs continue to increase, Acord said the district may have to cut even more.

The nearly 12,000-square-foot station will include six vehicle bays, a meeting room, a multipurpose room, dining room, kitchen, offices and training space.

The fire hall will be set up for essential equipment, but won’t be as functional as it could have been until the district gets more money. The building design includes accommodations for firefighters to stay overnight to reduce response times, but that won’t be possible for a while.

Acord will move his office from Twisp to the Horizon Flats station, but the Twisp, Mazama and Carlton fire halls will still be in place, staffed by volunteer firefighters, About 15 to 20 volunteers and three daytime staff will be based out of the new Winthrop building.

The new station is being paid for through an increased levy approved by district voters in May 2020 and $500,000 of a $1.8 million grant from the Bruno and Evelyne Betti Foundation.