If everything plays out right, the Ardmore Fire Department will have a new home for one of its substations.
Fire Station No. 3 has been targeted for a new home for the past several years. Fire Chief Cary Williamson said its current home, which formerly housed Ardmore Public Works, has developed issues associated with age.
“The station is old,” Williamson said. “We moved into it back in 2001 or 2002 because our new fire trucks would not fit into our old station at Cottonwood and Commerce. We have trouble with black mold, the roof leaks and there are other structural issues.”
Williamson said two firefighters are stationed each shift at the substation, which houses a frontline engine and brush truck and a reserve engine and reserve brush truck. The issue with the substation expands beyond the facility’s problems as it covers a lot of the same area of Fire Station No. 1. Within the 1.5-mile radius, the two stations cover a lot of the same ground leaving a part of the northeast exposed. If the station were relocated further to the northeast, the fire department’s response time would equal out and possibly improve the ISO fire insurance rating for residents in that area.
“We are hoping to build a new station near the new public works building on State Highway 142,” Williamson said.
The cost of the new building would be $1.2 million and the project has the support of the commissioners, Williamson said. During the commission retreat last week, Williamson provided a presentation on the project.
“We have been working on this for three years,” he said, “and the commission feels we need to move forward with this.”
If approved for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins July 1, the new station would feature three bays, which would be drive-through similar to that at Fire Station 1.
“Drive through minimizes the amount of backing up that we have to do,” he said.
City Manager J.D. Spohn said the proposal has merit and funding for the building would come from the GAPS Tax.
“We have been looking at this project for a long time with the structural issues of the building and problems that we have had,” Spohn said. “Relocating would better serve the citizens and now is the time to act. I think the commissioners support it and realize the need for it.”