disasters

City Council members have signed off on an $8 million contract to build a replacement mid-Island fire station and emergency operations center.

The approval, on a 4-1 vote, followed a wide-ranging discussion about what the city should be doing to better prepare for a disaster. Richmond-based Alten Construction was the winning bidder.

Once shovels hit dirt, construction of the two facilities, which will sit on a 0.57-acre site at the corner of Grand Street and Buena Vista Avenue, should be completed within 12 months.

City officials are recommending the City Council approve a permanent civilian staffer to create and execute plans to help Alameda bounce back quickly from a range of disasters – the third position the city is creating to better prepare it for disasters.

The proposal comes roughly a year after the city lost a lucrative grant that could have helped fund a chief resilience officer who would have served as a high-level point person who would work with a broad array of stakeholders to identify and address resilience challenges.

The Rockefeller Foundation will be helping Alameda draft plans to bounce back quickly from a natural disaster. The Island was one of 33 cities from across the world and four in the Bay Area picked to receive grant money and assistance in creating the plans through the foundation’s new 100 Resilient Cities network.

The Bay Bridge’s temporary closure earlier this month was a minor inconvenience for most. But it was an exasperating headache for Treasure Island residents, who relied on sparse shuttle buses and ferries to transport them on and off of the island that weekend. The closure and its impacts raised a critical question for Island residents: Could all of Alameda’s bridges and the Posey and Webster tubes become impassable in an emergency, stranding Island residents?