Low construction costs are allowing the fire department to enjoy a new piece of technology that could save money in the long run.
Columbia County officials recently approved spending $117,811 for four high-performance spiral rolling bay doors for a fire station under construction on Louisville Road at Euchee Creek Drive.
"They are nice doors," Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue Chief Doug Cooper said. "I think they are great."
Cooper, Emergency and Operations Director Pam Tucker and county Facilities Maintenance employees recently inspected the new doors installed at a Fort Gordon fire station.
Tucker said the doors, which cost $29,452 each, are a good investment.
The rigid aluminum slat doors won't corrode from exposure to weather and are very quiet, Tucker said.
They also will reduce heating and cooling costs by sealing completely and are low-maintenance.
"Long term, these things will be standing when the rest of the building is falling down behind them," Tucker said.
The doors commonly in use are said to break down and require costly maintenance.
"They are always giving us some type of problem," Cooper said. "Some of them have come close to falling on peoples' heads."
The new doors will raise and lower much faster than traditional doors, about 5 feet per second, allowing fire trucks to get out of the station for emergencies a few seconds faster.
Construction of the station is part of a $1.47 million project that includes building two fire stations and expanding a third. The original budget was $1.74 million, but construction bids came in much lower than expected.
The cost of the doors falls within the original project budget, said Paul Scarbary, Columbia County Facilities Services manager.
Scarbary said he expects the project to remain under budget, even with the purchase of the doors.
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