Sandy Springs officials approved allowing Fire Station 2’s general manager to approve up to $500,000 in change orders so the project doesn’t stall.

The $6.5 million construction project ran into unanticipated issues that required approximately $460,000 in change orders that previously were approved, Deputy City Manager Dave Wells said during the Oct. 19 city council meeting.

Construction continues on Sandy Springs Fire Station 2 at 135 Johnson Ferry Road NE. (Special)

“We have run into some things like an underground tank that we didn’t know about that needed to be removed, and you’ve got contamination and remediation issues with that,” Mayor Rusty Paul told members of City Council, who serve as the Public Facilities Authority.

Two changes already are necessary, Wells said. One is a tie-in into the sewage system.

“It has to be done at nighttime. That’s an added cost that wasn’t part of this project to do the work at nighttime, so we don’t close Johnson Ferry Road,” he said.

The city also needs to install a traffic signal for the first station. The total cost for both changes is approximately $130,000.

If the council did not approve the measure, city staff would need to come back for approval of many small changes. Until those were approved, the Fire Station 2 construction project would come to a halt, Wells said.

“It’s not that we’re spending more on the fire station, but these are ancillary things that are part of the project that need to be done that we didn’t budget with on the front end,” he said.

Wells said the authority would continue to get updates and a financial report from the project’s general manager tracking all expenses.

Bob Pepalis covers Sandy Springs for Rough Draft Atlanta and Reporter Newspapers.