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Some East Side residents give thumbs down to new fire station locations

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Kevin Price Construction

After hearing from a number of east-side residents about the proposed location of a new east-side fire station, some Athens-Clarke County commissioners didn’t seem to be sold on any of the three potential sites.

Right now, the county’s Fire Station 5 is located on Whit Davis Road. County officials want to close down the fifty-year-old building and construct a new fire station at one of three possible sites – two on Morton Road and one on Old Lexington Road.

Fire officials say the move will help them cover more of the county, but some residents who commented at last night’s agenda-setting meeting worry that having a fire station nearby will negatively affect the area’s rural character.

Public comments from those residents appeared to be a concern for District 4 Commissioner Allison Wright

“I am going to have problems supporting more time and effort on three sites that aren’t wanted by the neighbors,” she said.

Wright asked if, rather than buying a new property for the site, the fire station couldn’t be built on land the county already owns, like on Lexington Road or at Southeast Clarke Park. County Manager Blaine Williams told commissioners that a fire station at those locations wouldn’t cover the uncovered part of the county.

Commissioners will vote early next month on whether to continue vetting the three suggested sites or go back to square one and identify other potential places for the new fire station.

Martin Matheny is WUGA's Program Director and a host and producer of our local news program 'Athens News Matters.' He started at WUGA in 2012 as a part-time classical music host and still hosts WUGA's longest-running local program 'Night Music' which is heard on WUGA and GPB Classical. He lives in Normaltown with his wife, Shaye and dog, Murphy.
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