The Amarillo City Council has approved $631,000 toward the purchase of property that will serve as the new location for Fire Station #9.
During Tuesday’s regular meeting, council members voted 5-0 in favor of the purchase, which clears the way to relocate the station from 34th Avenue and Western Street to 2035 Paramount Blvd.
“The I-40 and Paramount location was selected because the Amarillo Fire Department recently went through an accreditation process and one of the outcomes was that we needed to move current Fire Station #9 north about a mile and a half,” Deputy Fire Chief Sam Baucom said. “This location that we were looking at that was approved is ideal to move that fire station to better serve that area of town.”
The agenda item summary accompanying the transaction packet referenced the current property location as being too small to construct a modern fire station – adding it is located on a corner and causes problems for fire trucks exiting and entering. Additionally, the narrative reflected that emergencies in the northern part of the district tend to experience longer response times.
Baucom said the transaction was funded via the passage of a recent bond initiative.
“This is a commercial location and a high-volume area, so the transaction is for the land only,” he said. “Bond funds that were established through Proposition 2 in November 2016 set up the funding sources to relocate this fire station. The additional funds will include prepping the land, as well as building the fire station for that location. Proposition 2 included several public safety initiatives. For the fire department, that involved replacing three worn-out fire stations and building a new fleet maintenance facility.”
Priority one on the list, Baucom said, was replacing Fire Station #3. He said the fire department is currently in the process of planning and preparing to break ground on the Fire Station #3 work at Coulter Street and Oxford Drive. The department anticipates the Fire Station #9 project will begin after the work at Fire Station #3 has begun.
“The benefits of the Paramount location include the ease of access north and south through the Paramount area, as well as east and west on the I-40 frontage and highway,” Baucom said.