The new South Side fire station could open in September
By David Skolnick
City council will consider legislation Wednesday to spend up to $780,000 for a new fire station in Ipes Field on the South Side.
City officials have discussed replacing Fire Station No. 9 for seven years. The 90-year-old station on the corner of Midlothian Boulevard and Sheridan Road has structural problems as well as rats, mold and water leaks, said Fire Chief John J. O’Neill Jr.
Council’s ordinance, if approved Wednesday, would permit the board of control to enter into a contract with a company submitting the best and lowest proposal for the construction of a new fire station in Ipes Field, near the intersection of Midlothian Boulevard and Lemoyne Avenue.
The ordinance states the estimated construction cost to be $780,000.
If all goes according to schedule, O’Neill said construction on the new station would start in June and be done in September. The new station would be on an unused gravel area of the city park.
No decision has been made on what will happen to the existing fire station.
Also, council will consider legislation Wednesday permitting the board of control to spend $1,045,816.30 over a 10-year period to purchase a 95-foot aerial truck for the fire department.
The city would provide a $150,000 down-payment and pay $89,581.63 a year for 10 years for the truck.
It would replace a 22-year-old 100-foot aerial truck that is in poor condition, O’Neill said.
If the legislation is delayed until after May 3, O’Neill said the price would increase by $60,000.
He pointed out that the cost of aerial trucks has greatly increased. The city’s other aerial truck was purchased in 2000 for just under $600,000.
Meanwhile, council will consider legislation Wednesday to overhaul its parking-ticket system, which city officials say will lead to better collections without hiring new employees.
Currently, tickets paid within 10 days of being issued a citation would remain $10 each. The fee currently goes to $20 after $20 days and then to $30 after 30 days.
The new plan would give people 30 days to pay the $10 fine, which would increase to $30 after that time.
Also, the city would have the power to impound or lock vehicles, typically those with more than $500 in unpaid parking tickets, under the proposal.
The clerk of courts plans to provide amnesty for six days, May 6 to 11. Those owing parking-ticket fees could pay the original $10 cost per ticket without the late penalties if their entire fines are paid during those six days.