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Salisbury City Council to consider rezoning for Fire Station 6

SALISBURY — When it comes to emergencies, every minute counts.

Soon, residents and businesses in the southernmost part of Salisbury might be able to get emergency assistance several minutes faster than currently possible.

Tonight, the Salisbury City Council will decide whether to rezone a 6-acre lot at 310 Cedar Springs Road to allow for a sixth fire station.

Fire Station 6 would serve the newly annexed areas near Mid-Carolina Airport, including the Weatherstone subdivision and Little Acres Mobile Home Park.

“That happened to be part of the last annexation that was done in the city in that particular area,” said station architect Bill Burgin during an open house earlier this month. “And so they fall outside expected response times. And so that station needed to be built on that end of town in order to close that gap.”

At the Nov. 1 open house, several area residents and representatives of local businesses came to voice their support for the construction of Fire Station 6.

Patrick Foley, administrator for Liberty Commons Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, said the station would be one minute away from his facility. The current closest station, Fire Station 2, is nearly two miles away.

“It’s going to be tremendous for our staff, our families, our residents, providing more safety for our facility,” Foley said.

When the Salisbury Planning Board was presented with the issue at its Oct. 24 meeting, the board voted unanimously to recommend that the City Council approve the rezoning request.

Unlike Fire Station 3, which has also come before the council and the Planning Board in recent months, Fire Station 6 is in a predominantly industrial area and not in an established residential neighborhood.

Fire Station 6 will be about 21,340 square feet and have six bays — five for firetrucks and one that will be used as a training space.

Before the council votes on the rezoning, there will be a staff presentation and a public hearing.

Other items on tonight’s agenda include:

• The council will hear a presentation about a new teen center at Miller Recreation Center.

Salisbury Parks and Recreation received a $50,000 grant from the Blanche & Julian Robertson Family Foundation that will go toward turning Miller Recreation Center into a teen center.

Parks and Recreation Director Nick Aceves said there would still be senior citizens activities and community meetings held at the center during the day, but at night, the center would cater to children ages 10 to 18.

The teen center will feature mentoring, life skills classes, homework assistance, field trips and some supplemental programming led by local organizations.

The grant will also allow the Parks and Recreation Department to hire two part-time staffers. Those positions are open and posted on the city of Salisbury job website.

• The council will hear an update on the Empire Hotel project.

Britt Weaver of Black Point Investments, Jim Prosser of the Centralina Council of Governments and a representative of Downtown Salisbury Inc. will give an update and discuss the success of the development’s open house.

The open house, held Oct. 16 at City Hall, attracted more than 140 people.

Representatives of the city and Black Point Investments led tours of the Empire Hotel and heard questions and comments.

• The council will decide whether to issue a demolition permit for the vacant building at 201 E. Innes St.

The building, which was built in the 1930s as an automobile service station, is constructed with pink granite that is unique to local quarries, according to a city report.

The Historic Preservation Commission first received the demolition request in September 2016. The commission approved the request but asked that the demolition be delayed by one year.

Now that the delay period has expired, the City Council must vote on whether to issue the demolition permit. No structure in the Downtown Local Historic District can be demolished without the council’s approval.

Before the council votes, there will be a staff report and a public hearing.

The City Council will meet at 5 p.m. today at City Hall, 217 S. Main St.

Contact reporter Jessica Coates at 704-797-4222.

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