Bellefonte

Bellefonte fire companies’ buildings to get sprinkler systems

The Logan and Undine fire companies will get a new first line of defense against blazes.

The companies will have fire sprinkler systems installed to provide more protection against fire in their buildings.

“These are automatic fire sprinkler systems that are truly the best method to building fire protection,” Logan Fire Company Chief Walt Schneider said. “Bar none, this is providing active protection for the building. For these two buildings, they are the ones that house the fire apparatus to protect the community, and so truly these protect the fire apparatus so that if a catastrophic issue happens they will be protected and will continue to respond to the rest of the community.”

The Logan and Undine Fire companies received a $189,050 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency in August. Each company matched a $5,000 pledge to the project that will not exceed $200,000, which council approved 7-0. Councilman Paul DeCusati and Councilwoman Gay Dunne were excused from the meeting.

Schneider hopes the installations will encourage home and business owners in the area to follow their lead.

“We have embraced and recommended sprinkler systems in buildings to protect them and the people in them, so we’re kind of taking the high road to lead that effort, which we feel is important,” he said.

The project will go to Rowe Sprinkler Systems, which made the lowest bid at $304,477. The bid, however, will be reduced to below $200,000 after negotiations are complete.

Bids came in more than $100,000 higher than expected, Assistant Borough Manager Don Holderman said, because bidders thought all contractors had to be at a pre-bid meeting.

“All the bidders used the same electrical contractor, so we knew something was wrong with the electrical subcontractor bids,” Holderman said. “Our engineer asked for other electrical subcontractor bids, and that significantly reduced the project’s cost.”

Schneider expects the project to begin by early June and to be complete by late September.

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