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M/PIFCD public meeting addresses new station

December 20, 2017
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

The Matlacha/Pine Island Fire Control District held a public notice meeting last Wednesday evening to present a "Special Exception" to permit construction of Fire Station #4. An announcement appeared in the Pine Island Eagle requesting the public to attend.

The property is located at 3500 3520 S.W. Pine Island Road between Scallop Drive and Pompano Avenue.

Veronica Martin, senior planner at TDM Consulting Inc., outlined the Lee County application process asking for a "Special Exception" to permit a Fire Station to be built on AG-2 zoning district property.

Article Photos

Fire commissioners, members of the department and representatives from TDM Consulting, Inc. and Castellanos Tramonte architects.


The station will face east/west on Pine Island Road with access for the apparatus (fire engines) bays from Scallop Drive and Pompano Avenue. No access is planned directly from Pine Island Road.

"That is the unique feature of this fire house," Fire Chief Ben Mickuleit said. "The trucks can enter from one side and depart from the other. No backing up of the trucks into the bays."

"The site plan calls for the widening of Pompano Avenue and Scallop Drive to county standards and both streets will be paved," Dean Martin, owner and founder of TDM, said. "We also planned for an additional room for another apparatus that may be added in the future."

In addition to the two truck bays, there is a community room, day room, exercise room, four bunk rooms, kitchen, laundry and a decontamination room.

The present plan for Station #4 is for one brush truck and one fire engine but modifications were made to the bays to accommodate the larger ladder trucks in the future.

"We discussed a number of things and made some minor changes while the plans were being completed," Mickuleit said. "We made the community room larger and we did address the security issues Commissioner Cammick brought up. These issues can be taken care of with security doors and technology,"

The new station will have a footprint of 5,700 square feet, including the bays with a living area of approximately 3,000 square feet.

Late alterations included one additional entry on a side that didn't have any door so firefighters could gain entry from any side of the building. The architects also "straightened" a hallway by removing a bump-out that firefighters might strike while responding to an emergency and enlarged the exercise room so all of the equipment would fit into one room.

The entire property will have a security fence with landscaping inside the fence. Landscaping includes lots of palm trees and shrubs.

"We expect the application process to go smoothly," Veronica Martin said. "There have been few questions raised and I expect the hearing to be scheduled for late January."

TDM sent a mailer to residential property owners near the station advising them of the meeting - no homeowners were at the meeting.

"I'm excited about this new fire house," Mickuleit said. "The reason we purchased the property in 2008 was to provide equal response time anywhere in our fire district which extends to Cape Royal. This fire house will be minutes from both Matlacha and Cape Royal."

The fire house property consists of 5 lots purchased in 2008 at a cost of $534,500.

The property sat idle until the property was cleared in May 2016. In October a contract was awarded to Vantage Construction Services, LLC, a commercial general contractor and architects Castellanos Tramonte.



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