Fire Station 3

From left to right: Interim City Manager Liz Warmerdam, Vice Mayor Frank Matarrese, City Councilman Jim Oddie, Councilwoman Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft, Mayor Trish Herrera Spencer, Councilman Tony Daysog and Fire Chief Doug Long. Photo courtesy of the City of Alameda.

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.

In today’s alert, we’ve got a study session on some proposed Clement Avenue townhomes, forward movement on Fire Station 3 and a discussion on the city’s density bonus ordinance.

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Broad Brush, your two-sentence news review. Here’s what happened this week.

Local environmentalists fear changes Alameda Municipal Power – which bills itself as “the greenest little utility in America” – plans to make to its solar program could bring an end to new solar installations on the Island. A final proposal for the new solar program, which could for the short term create tiered service for solar customers, could come before the Public Utilities Board in May.

A plan to use city money and borrowed funds to build a new Fire Station 3 was unveiled before the City Council on Tuesday night.

The Planning Board put the brakes on the city’s plans for a new emergency operations center, with members saying the building’s designers need to make some changes before moving forward.

The board voted 5-1 to approve a site plan detailing the placement of the emergency operations center and a new fire station to be built on a half-acre site at the corner of Grand Street and Buena Vista Avenue, and to hold off on okaying the design of the operations center until changes are made. Board member John Knox White voted against approving the site plan; member Mike Henneberry was absent.

City leaders are pressing ahead with efforts to construct a new mid-Island fire station and emergency operations center despite local voters’ rejection of a sales tax hike that would have paid for it.

Public meetings to discuss the city’s goals in constructing the project and residents’ concerns and ideas will be held at 6:30 p.m. today and on September 20 and October 1 at Mastick Senior Center, 1155 Santa Clara Avenue.

“Just because Measure C failed doesn’t mean we don’t need this,” Deputy City Manager Alex Nguyen said, referring to the 30-year, half-cent sales tax measure the city had placed on the June ballot.