• 63°

Fire Station No. 3 once again on City Council agenda

By Jessica Coates

SALISBURY — City Council will once again take up the issue of rezoning the 100 block of Mahaley Avenue for a new Fire Station No. 3 at their Tuesday meeting.

When the issue was last brought up at a council meeting, on Aug. 1, it was tabled after 10 people spoke out against the proposed location during public comment.

One of those people was Councilman David Post, who recused himself from deliberations because he said the proposed station location would “significantly” affect the value of his house.

Other concerned citizens mentioned the potential for light and sound pollution, as well as the destruction of a wooded area on the proposed lot.

City Manager Lane Bailey said that what he believed the council and citizens wanted after the Aug. 1 meeting was more information about how the city chose the Mahaley Avenue location.

He said that was one of the reasons the fire department and the city held an open house at the current Fire Station No. 3 Sunday — to show concerned citizens the work that went into choosing the proposed location.

“This wasn’t the first site that we looked at. There were sites that were considered before I moved to Salisbury,” Bailey said.

Fire Chief Bob Parnell said that the search for a new Fire Station No. 3 location may have begun as early as 2011.

Bailey said that, in the time that he has been here, the city has looked at multiple locations. But he said that each one either had an unwilling seller or was too far away from the area that the fire station needed to serve.

Bailey said that, for the properties with unwilling sellers, the city could acquire them using eminent domain.

“But we don’t think that’s the best way to go about doing business,” Bailey said.

Bailey also said that the station’s current site — 1604 W. Innes St. — is not an option because the structure was built on “fill dirt.”

“And we don’t know what kind of fill dirt you have in there. When this was built, there could have been stumps; there could have been other debris that is not what you would use in construction today,” Bailey said.

He said that left the Mahaley Avenue property as the best option.

Architect Bill Burgin said that in addition to being a lot with willing sellers and a good foundation, the 100 block of Mahaley Avenue is strategically located to help the department shorten response times to structures in its services area.

“(Firefighters) literally set their gear beside the door to the (fire truck). Literally, that’s how quickly they have to respond,” Burgin said. “So a lot of these kinds of response things that we would just say, ‘What’s another four blocks?’ Well, another four blocks may be a minute.”

Chief Parnell said that the construction of the new fire station will be a significant investment of taxpayer money.

“So if we’re going to put money into a fire station, let’s get better. Let’s get a better coverage,” Parnell said. “I mean, you’re going to put multimillion dollars into a building anyway. Do it the right way. That’s where we are. Do it the right way and be good stewards of city funds and city services.”

The new fire station, as it is designed for the Mahaley Avenue lot, would be approximately 17,500 square feet. It would include a bay for each fire truck, separate locker rooms for male and female firefighters and updated sleeping quarters.

Other items on the council’s agenda include:

• Considering whether to issue a demolition permit for the structure located at 201 E. Innes St.

The demolition of the East Innes Street building was brought up at a Historic Preservation Commission meeting last year. At the meeting, the commission voted to delay the demolition for one year.

The building has a distinct granite exterior that made some commission members want to save it.

There is a chance that pieces from the existing building could be used in a future property.

• Considering whether to award a contract for a Newsome Road extension between Innes Street and Faith Road.

The City Council meeting will be held Tuesday at 5 p.m. at the Council Chambers — 217 S. Main St.

Contact reporter Jessica Coates at 704-797-4222.


High School

High school football: State’s top honor goes to Jalon Walker


Scout’s Honor: With dedication of flag retirement box, Salem Fleming earns Eagle Scout rank


North Carolina king, queen of NCAA lacrosse tourneys


Kannapolis seniors walk elementary schools


Local real estate company employees come out in force to build Habitat house


Quotes of the week


Auditors find oversight lacking for $3 billion of state’s pandemic aid


When will gas situation return to normal?


Rowan native Shuping posthumously receives Concord Police Department’s Medal of Valor, Purple Heart


GOP measure on penalties for rioting draws fire


Black high school softball player told to cut hair


State shows 303 COVID-19 deaths in Rowan


CDC: Fully vaccinated people can largely ditch masks indoors


One arrested, another hospitalized in Castor Road stabbing

China Grove

China Grove Roller Mill open for tours Saturday


Facing personnel deficiencies, local fire departments request tax rate increases


‘Panic buying’ creates gas supply shortages locally, statewide after pipeline cyberattack


Twice as nice: Planet Smoothie opens alongside Cold Stone Creamery in co-branded store


Spencer board gets update on South Iredell rat problem


West Rowan teacher awarded $15,000 outdoor learning grant


Town of Cleveland plans celebration May 22

High School

High school girls tennis: Busy Hornets win again easily

High School

High school softball: Nixon, Walton top all-county team


All Hood Alumni and Friends Symposium scheduled June 18