Neighbors putting heat on mayor over planned fire station site - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Neighbors putting heat on mayor over planned fire station site

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MAUMELLE (KATV) -- In Maumelle neighbors are putting heat on the mayor, voicing their disappointment about the potential location of a new fire station.

Near the corner of Club Manor Drive and Odom Boulevard there is a vacant lot zoned as open space. Since the city owns the land already it wants to place a new fire station there, but frankly people who live here don't want it.

While the lot across from Kroger may look empty, it's filled with criticism over a potential fire station being built on it.

"Well, I'd like to sell my house. Would you like to buy my house," said Maumelle resident Kelley Ogelesby.

Plans to replace first station number two would take place in the peaceful backyard of Ogelesby's home of 17 years. She says kids often use the field to play in, but she also has other concerns.

"Well yes I don't want the noise, and I don't object to the fire department, but not right here," she added.

After going through the planning commission, a resolution to put a new fire station near the neighborhood is being presented at Monday night's city council agenda.

Alderman Preston Lewis said he plans to try and pass an extension so the council can look at different options.

"Was there consideration of an alternative property, and right now I can't say that. I don't think that we have seriously considered this in the last five years as to an alternative, and that's unfortunate," Lewis said.

Mayor Mike Watson said a 2005 study showed this location next to Kroger is the best proximity to replace the current fire station number two, and it needs to be done as soon as possible.

"If it's longer than 30 to 60 days it could start impacting things such as weather, and as far as trying to get the station dried in before winter hits this year," Watson said.

Numbers from 2013 show Maumelle isn't a city prone to many fires. Mayor Watson said of the 1,500 calls its fire department responded to in 2013, 70 percent of those were medical emergencies and not fires.