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Waynesboro: Long-delayed West End fire station finally put out for bid by city

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It may have taken 16 years, but a voter-approved project to build a fire department substation in the West End of Waynesboro seems to finally be gaining some momentum.

Waynesboro City Manager Mike Hamp told AFP today that the project was posted to eVa and the city’s website yesterday and is officially out for bid. AFP had reached out to Hamp for an update on April 30.

eVa is a procurement portal for Virginia where many government projects are posted.

The city closed on property intended for the fire station on Osage Lane off Lew Dewitt Boulevard on Dec. 29, 2022.

Hamp said there are several reasons why construction hasn’t started on the project yet:

  • Working on the design has taken time; want the station to be as functional as possible
  • Difficult labor market
  • Work on project was “impacted” by employee turnover in the A&E (architectural and engineering) firm
  • The fire substation in Waynesboro is not the only project the firm was working on

Response times

  • According to a staff report from 2022, the location would allow the fire department the ability to respond to calls on the western side of the city within 5 minutes, 20 seconds, an estimated 90 percent of the time.
  • Calls answered on the western part of the city from the current station on West Broad Street hits this goal only 35 percent of the time.

Council member Terry Short said in 2022 that the funding for the purchase of the land and construction would come from funds that the city has been setting aside for several budget cycles.

Former Waynesboro City Councilor Bobby Henderson, who is running for the at-large seat on council in November, said in an interview with AFP last month that the fire station is one of projects he wants to see completed.

“I’m still not sure why our fire station hasn’t been started or built,” Henderson said. “I mean, we’re three years after we’ve passed this to get it done, and the money was set aside, and it’s still not even started. That, to me, is crazy.”

Henderson served one term as the Ward C representative on Waynesboro City Council that ended in 2022.

Waynesboro voters approved a referendum supporting the construction of a West End fire substation in 2007.

Bids will be accepted on Fire Station No. 2 through July 9 at 2 p.m., Hamp said.

Once bids for the project are received, a procurement officer will evaluate the bids.

“We’ll know more about the cost of the project and begin to understand timing for construction then,” Hamp said. “After staff reviews the bids, staff will work with city council to confirm final plan/budget for the project.”

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Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.