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Temporary Newcastle firehouse stalled

Site plan has been approved
By: Amber Marra, Journal Staff Writer
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Plans to move the Newcastle Fire Department out of a 90-year-old firehouse and into a temporary structure by Oct. 29 have come to a standstill while officials work out permit and planning details with Placer County.

David Poore, a member of the Newcastle Fire Protection District Board of Directors, said he and Yvonne Lewis, chairperson of the board, filled out applications with Placer County to place three structures behind Denny's in Newcastle to serve as the temporary station. He said the district also needs a permit to run utilities to those three structures.

"We're moving as quickly as we can," Poore said.

The Newcastle Fire Protection District is working to move its firefighters to a temporary structure while it works to build a new, permanent building to replace the 90-year-old firehouse at 9211 Cypress St.

The property the temporary firehouse will sit on is owned by R & S Properties of Newcastle. The small parcel was donated by R & S Properties and was accepted by the district as an alternative to placing the temporary station next to the Harvest Ridge Charter School.

Placing the temporary station next to the charter school would have cost an estimated $90,000, according to Bob Stearns, vice president of the fire board. Stearns said at the time that the cost of having the temporary station behind Denny's would come to around $30,000.

Poore said on Monday that the exact cost can't be determined until all of the bids for doing the groundwork come in and the districts hammers out the details of leasing the two trailers and enclosure for the fire engine.

"It's certainly quite a bit cheaper than having it by the school," Poore said.

Stearns said earlier in October that the firefighters would be out of the old station and into the temporary station by Oct. 29, but Poore indicated on Monday that applications for building permits were just being submitted and the site plan had just been approved by Placer County. Stearns could not be reached by phone on Monday.

On Monday, the small plot of land behind Denny's remained largely untouched by the district except for a pile of dirt that will be used to level out the property surrounded by four political signs touting the three incumbent candidates of the fire board, Poore, Stearns and Lewis.

Tim Wegner, chief building official for Placer County, said on Monday that he met with members of the fire board on Friday and that the county is satisfied in seeing that the district is taking action to move its firefighters out of the old station.

"The building permit requirements and design review process ensure that we know what they are proposing is compatible with the site," Wegner said.

The temporary station is set to be two trailers, one for the firefighters and one for the battalion chief and secretary, and an enclosure to cover one of the district's fire engines. The district received a final notice from Placer County to obtain an analysis of the firehouse from a structure engineer and building officials have threatened to "yellow tag" the building, which would allow firefighters to enter the building once to gather equipment and not reenter.

Contact Amber Marra at amberm@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @Amber_AJNews.