The City of Midlothian started a new chapter Tuesday as new council member Art Pierard took the oath of office.

Pierard defeated incumbent Ted Miller in a run-off election. Miller had served on council for the past six years.

Pierard stated he is excited for the opportunity to serve the community and is ready to hit the ground running.

“The challenges that we have...I am looking forward to being apart of that. It is not so much how we reinvent the wheel because it is already a great wheel. But how do we enhance it?,” Pierard said. “My goal is to do what I can to help in any way possible.”

Pierard stated Midlothian in a prime location to continue to grow, but it is essential to make sure that growth is balanced with infrastructure keeping up with development.

Midlothian Fire Chief Dale McCaskill addressed the council with a recommendation to award the contract to Steele and Freeman Inc. to act as a construction manager at risk for the new fire station project.

The agreement with Steele and Freeman totals $780,485. Voters approved bonds funding the project in November 2017.

“We partnered with Brinkley Sargent Architects a few months ago, and they have been working diligently creating our schematic design for our station layout,” McCaskill said. “We are at the point now that we need to bring in a construction manager to partner with Brinkley to make sure we get the best value for our dollar.”

McCaskill stated the department received five proposals. One was eliminated right at the beginning of the review process because it was felt the company could not meet the needs of the community. The remaining four were interviewed, questioned, references checked, and financial stability evaluated.

McCaskill said Steele and Freeman are based out of Fort Worth and has 38 years of construction experience. He noted the company was involved in constructing several fire stations for the City of Arlington as well as Cedar Hill.

The building replaces the current first station one on North Eight Street, which has served the city for more than 55 years. The replacement station will be on property located west of Main Street and U.S Highway 287. It is estimated the station will be around 17,000 square feet.

“We are excited to have this opportunity to work with Steele and Freeman,” McCaskill said. “Their team did a well-rounded interview with us and were impressed with their communication and the people they are assigning to our project.”

He added construction is anticipated to start in 2019.

Council members approved to allow City Manager Chris Dick to negotiate and enter into an agreement with Steele and Freeman Inc.