Eastern Wake EMS could have a new station on this town’s main road under construction by 2018, maybe sooner, if the project by Wake County continues to progress at the rate it has so far.
The Wendell Town Board was expected to give final approval for a request to rezone about 2.4 acres at 3000 and 3001 on the northeast side of Wendell Boulevard from a residential use to a commercial one at its Monday, Jan. 25 meeting.
The town’s planning board recommended approval of the request – filed by Wake Facilities Construction and Design Director Mark Forestieri – at its Dec. 21 meeting, and no one opposed the request during a Jan. 11 public hearing.
The requested commercial mixed-use (CMX) classification sought by the county is the primary commercial zoning category along Wendell Boulevard.
“Every other nearby piece along Wendell Boulevard is already zoned CMX,” said Wendell Planning Director David Bergmark. “It’s current standing (of R-3 residential) is actually what stands out.”
Eastern Wake EMS is contracted by the county to provide emergency services for Knightdale, Rolesville, Wendell and Zebulon.
The county purchased the Wendell Boulevard property this month for $150,000, Forestieri said. The western parcel, at 3001, borders the Wendell IGA and has a vacant residence that will be demolished.
While site plans have yet to be submitted, the station is expected to mirror the new EMS station at RDU.
Forestieri said it would be about 4,000 square feet with three ambulance bays and a living area. He has it marked as a $1.5 million facility, but said that figure is subject to change.
“It really depends on timing,” Forestieri said. “You get a different pool of contractors for something that is that small. It really depends on if folks are busy or not.”
Eastern Wake EMS Director Garland Tant said the plan is for the EMS 61 operation and the district supervisor to relocate to the new station, and for administrative offices to remain at the current downtown Wendell location for the time being.
Eastern Wake EMS owns that site, at 401 E. Third St., but Tant said the building there was built in 1974 and was in line for replacement.
“They wanted to keep it centrally located, and I think Wendell Boulevard is going to be a great point of access for us,” Tant said.
A portion of the two-bay station in Wendell is currently being used as a warehouse for medical supplies. A new facility would free up more room for storage and a space for a spare vehicle within the fleet at the existing site.
Forestieri said the project is tabbed for 2018, but that the process so far is well ahead of schedule.
“Because the project is ahead of schedule, the capital plan (for EMS stations) will be evaluated to see if construction could start earlier,” he said.