The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

July 5, 2013

We’re pleased other sites still are in consideration for the new Enid fire substation

ENID, Okla. — We’re pleased to hear other options still are being considered for the city’s No. 4 fire station besides the beleaguered Lions Park proposal initially proposed.

Residents near Lions Park and North Enid Lions Club had organized their fight against the controversial firehouse plan.

In June, we recommended a task force comprised of two city commissioners, the fire chief, the city manager and a local insurance representative explore more ideal locations.

The city of Enid recently asked District Judge Dennis Hladik to push back a hearing to vacate the park’s plat, or land plan, to Aug. 8, allowing officials to explore other options for relocating the substation from 2205 W. Garriott.

We realize that the existing fire substation needs to be moved west or northwest and expand to accomodate larger vehicles, but we’re still not sold that Lions Park is the best place.

“We never said that was our only option and we’re going to do it regardless. It was an option,” said City Manager Eric Benson. “It was a very attractive option because we saved the taxpayers a bunch of money.”

Alternative locations to consider could include across Garriott from La Fiesta Mexican Café at Longview Drive, Cleveland Street and Elm Avenue, Hoover Street south of Holding’s Food Store or possibly near the Cleveland and Chestnut Avenue intersection.

Instead of tucked inside a quiet residential area and replacing an existing park, the relocated station should have quick access to major roads.

Response time is a key issue in emergency situations, so it should also be housed as close as possible to the center of the defined service area.

Regarding other locations, Fire Chief Joe Jackson previously cited drainage problems or reluctant landowners not wanting to sell. However, it appears public visibility on this issue brought other offers into the open.

We’re interested in future public discussion about the relocation of fire station No. 4.

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