GATE CITY — Last month, the Weber City Volunteer Fire Department began raising funds for a new, more conveniently located fire station.
Now, the department is seeking Scott County’s help to secure a piece of land, which would allow the process to move forward.
Fire Chief Bruce Cross addressed the Scott County Board of Supervisors on Wednesday, telling members that any help from the county would be “greatly appreciated.”
As previously reported by the Times News, the fire department’s current station is beset by a number of problems, the most serious being its location. In addition to being in a residential area with narrow roads, the building is at the top of a hill, making travel in inclement weather difficult and dangerous.
The station’s interior is outdated and cramped, Cross added, so much so that some expensive equipment must be left outside, unsecured. The building also has no female restrooms, no kitchen facilities and no sufficient meeting area.
Cross is requesting one or two acres of land inside the Weber City town limits. While limited renovations could be done at the current station, Cross believes starting fresh would be the best option for long-term growth.
“If we’re going to go in there and try to renovate, which some things could be done there,” Cross said, “but why spend the money on something right there when you’re still on this hill?”
Cross attended last month’s meeting of the Scott County Economic Development Authority to propose a particular piece of land, which is part of the Riverside development on U.S. 23. At that meeting, Cross didn’t quite get the answer he was looking for.
“We never really got a commitment either way, so I came out of that meeting unsure,” Cross said. “I don’t know whether they were all on board trying to help. … The piece of property I asked about, (I) never really got a straightforward answer (on) is it available? Is it not available? I got some ‘what ifs’ and ‘we might have,’ but I never really got any kind of good answers from them.”
As a result, Cross said he has started looking elsewhere for other parcels of land in case the Riverside property doesn’t work out.
The next steps
BOS Chairman David Redwine said the board would be in contact with Weber City town officials to encourage them to help find a solution. In the meantime, Cross plans to attend the next Weber City Town Council meeting to secure more support.
“I think we need to do whatever we can to try to help them get property somewhere,” added Darrel Jeter, supervisor from District 1, which includes Weber City. “It would be a big asset for the businesses at Riverside and Weber City and the whole county altogether.”