GATE CITY — Step by step, the Weber City Volunteer Fire Department is working toward making a new fire station a reality.
During Wednesday’s meeting of the Scott County Board of Supervisors, Fire Chief Bruce Cross discussed a few potential locations for the new station and reiterated his need for the county’s assistance in securing land.
“We can get grants to help us build the building,” Cross said, “but we have to own the property first.”
What’s already happened?
As previously reported by the Times News, the Weber City Volunteer Fire Department is seeking a new location due to problems at its current station, including a lack of space and its position at the top of a hill.
Before Wednesday, Cross had already met with the town of Weber City and once with the BOS, hoping to secure support and help with acquiring land, which is necessary before the new station can move forward.
What happened at Wednesday’s meeting?
During a presentation outlining problems at the current station, Cross mentioned Weber City’s Riverside development as a potential site for the new station. In addition to being a flatter area, this location would give the fire trucks easier access to U.S. Highway 23, Cross said.
Cross is also considering the old Food City building on Highway 23. If that option moves forward, Cross said he’d like to see the Weber City Volunteer Fire Department, Weber City Town Hall and the Weber City Police Department all come together and move to that location.
“We can get an urban development revitalization grant to revitalize old Food City,” Cross said. “I did have a contractor come in to look at old Food City building (to see) how can we divide this out, how much money is it going to cost, and is this building even feasible to do what we’re trying to do? (The contractor said) ‘Yes, it is. It can be done.’ ”
Cross said the fire department would need half the building, which would create several times more space than the station currently has. The cost to revitalize that side of the building would be around $500,000, Cross said, but his concern is whether the fire department could afford the property.
“I’ve not approached them with an offer yet,” Cross said. “I kind of know where we need to be, I think, and it’s not going to be cheap.”
John Kilgore, executive director of the Scott County Economic Development Authority, said some of the land in the Riverside development is not inside the Weber City town limits. Accordingly, it wouldn’t be an option if the fire department is required to stay within Weber City town limits.
Cross said the town is verifying whether the fire department needs to stay inside the town limits. Once that is determined, Cross, Kilgore and members of the BOS agreed to meet again to try to nail down a location.
“I’ll take whatever we can get,” Cross said, “as long as it’s not on a hill.”