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Marble Falls firefighters moving over while station gets makeover

Marble Falls Fire Station No. 1

A 2,026-square-foot mobile home will be set up between the Marble Falls Police Department and Fire Station No. 1 on Avenue N in the coming months. It will serve as temporary living quarters for Marble Falls Fire Rescue staff while contractors remodel the station. Staff photo by Nathan Bush

Marble Falls Fire Rescue staff will have new living quarters as they wait for Fire Station No. 1 to be renovated. A 2,026-square-foot, five-bedroom, three-bathroom manufactured home will be parked between the station and the Marble Falls Police Department on Avenue N while contractors install an elevator in the station, expand its showers, and replace a second-story window with a door to serve as an emergency exit.

Fire Chief Tommy Crane presented the item during the City Council’s regular meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 1.

“We’ve been looking over a year for housing for our firefighters,” he said. “It’s not really easy to find a place that wants 15 firefighters and our firetrucks.”

Crane anticipates the move happening in about four months.

“We’re going to have to have a place for the firefighters to live where they can also respond to the community and their needs,” he said. 

The city purchased the mobile home outright rather than leasing it after looking at costs.

“We sent out requests for some leasing quotes from different companies, and what we got back was a little bit more than I thought it would be,” Crane said. “We ended up deciding to go out for sealed bids with mobile home dealerships to see what we could get.”

A $165,000 bid from mobile home manufacturer Palm Harbor Homes was too good to pass up, Crane said.

Marble Falls Fire Rescue got another break on costs for the new space after meeting with Pedernales Electric Cooperative representatives regarding electricity.

“Lucky for us, they were able to say they didn’t need to run a new utility pole and they could just put a temporary meter on top of what was existing,” Crane said. “That will save us some money.”

The department plans to resell the manufactured home once station renovations are done.

“As long as we don’t damage it too much, (Palm Harbor) said they’re getting really good resale values,” Crane said. “They mentioned the Kelly Blue Book value of mobile homes and said we should at least get that or more, which would help us recoup a lot of our costs.”

Design plans for Station No. 1 are 75 percent finished. The remodel is expected to begin in the coming months, depending on the project’s permitting timeline. 

nathan@thepicyaune.com