Someone give me a knife…

So I can commit hara-kiri.

From The Free Lance-Star: Less is more for Caroline station:

The cost estimate on a new volunteer fire station in Caroline County has more than doubled over the past five years, prompting supervisors to request a scaled-down option.

The project is now expected to cost $3.25 million, up from the $1.5 million estimate in 2003, Assistant County Administrator Alan Partin said.

According to a report from Public Works Director Allen Ramsay, the original estimate for a new 10,685-square-foot Sparta station did not include purchasing property, site development and community space within the building.

Estimates in the report put a $700,000 price tag on 2 acres and almost $2 million for the station itself. Designs will cost $200,000 and a construction contingency of $265,300 is included in the proposed budget.

$350,000 an acre?! Where the heck is this? The middle of Washington, D.C.?

Does anyone know where the heck this station is supposed to be located?

If you do, email me at Thanks.

Ramsay presented the report to supervisors last Tuesday. He did not return calls later seeking comment.

Supervisors were taken aback by the higher estimate.

“How do we plan to fund buildings such as this?” Ladysmith Supervisor Wayne Acors asked fellow board members.

You might be able to afford it if you stopped paying $1,100,000 for a visitor’s center, $3,200,000 for a community recreation center, and $3,700,000 for office space for twenty full-time personnel (but the sheriff’s office and fire/rescue get nothing).

How much did that half-page ad for a private business cost that the county paid for?

Whoops, almost forgot about the over $40,000,000 to pump water from the Rappahannock River to Ladysmith. “Smart growth”, eh?

“Yee-haw! There’s gold in them there pipes!”

Acors suggested the county consider a bond referendum to pay for similar projects in the future, noting it wouldn’t be “the first or last” of its kind.

Port Royal Supervisor Calvin Taylor, who will not return to the board next year, suggested that Ramsay “address site work differently to save money.”

“When you start throwing out numbers, once that number goes out, it goes up or doesn’t change,” Taylor said.

The existing station on Sparta Road serves the southeastern part of the county. The report said the 2003 estimate for the new building was based on the cost of a station in Spotsylvania County.

Spotsylvania recently finished a 26,000-square-foot station with six bays. The county spent $4 million on the building and an additional $2.6 million for equipment, furniture and site work.

Plans for the Sparta building include three bays, a community room, a fitness room, two offices, a kitchen and bunk rooms.

“The Sparta fire station needs to be replaced,” Ramsay wrote in the report. “The space provided in the station for professional and volunteer staff is required to meet the needs of the community it will serve.”

Why should that concern the Board of Supervisors? “No return on fire/rescue”, eh?

Ramsay’s report says the Sparta station will serve as a prototype for future stations in Caroline.

There is no future in Caroline County…

Supervisors agreed to spend about $200,000 on architectural designs for the station. They asked that one design have basic features and another include extras, such as community space.

One thought on “Someone give me a knife…”

  1. “The space provided in the station for professional and volunteer staff is required to meet the needs of the community it will serve.”

    “it will serve”

    versus it does serve! Because they are not servicing all of the community yet! Nor does that seem to be happening anytime in the near future………………………….

    Ramsey? That name sounds familiar. Isn’t that the same guy who doesn’t follow procurement policy and just hires whoever for whatever?

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