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John Wayne Airport to get new fire station

October 22, 2003

June Casagrande

The aging and seismically obsolete Fire Station No. 33 at John Wayne

Airport will soon be replaced with a modern airfield rescue and

firefighting facility that meets state safety guidelines.

The Orange County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a

$6-million contract to replace the station with a 15,000-square-foot

building with state-of-the-art safety facilities. The 4-0 vote, with

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Supervisor Bill Campbell absent, means work will begin around Nov. 11

and, once begun, will take no more than 400 days to complete. Workers

and their equipment should make the move to the new facility shortly

after it's completed near the end of 2004.

"Every airport needs to have an airfield rescue and firefighting

station and we do, but the one we have is becoming somewhat out of

date," John Wayne Airport spokesman Justin McCusker said. "We need to

make sure we live up to all FAA requirements."

Hensel Phelps Construction Co. landed the contract to finish the

job started by JM. Contracting.

"JM Contracting has abandoned the project and has breached its

contract with the county by, among things, failing to pay its

subcontractors, failing to maintain required insurance, having its

contractor's license suspended by the California Contactors License

Board, failing to perform the work required by the contract, failing

to perform the work in a skillful and workmanlike manner, failing to

promptly replace rejected material and correct rejected workmanship

and failing to diligently prosecute the work," staff members wrote in

their report to supervisors.

First National Insurance Company of America is the company that

bonded JM Contracting, but staff members reported First National did

not fulfill its obligation to complete the work. The county has begun

litigation against the bonding company to recover losses of up to $7

million.

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