HARRISBURG – Harrisburg Town Council members have debated for the past few months whether the location chosen for a new fire station is the best spot, and during Monday’s meeting they approved hiring an outside consultant to determine the best location for a new station.

Last year, the council budgeted $1.4 million for a new fire station located at Rocky River Road and Pembrook Road, to give residents on the eastern portion a better response time. But council members have debated if the spot is the best location for a new fire station.

Harrisburg Town Administrator Mike Rose said he’ll now begin the search for a consultant at the council’s request.

“They all felt like there was a need for the station and wanted to proceed with the building of the station, but would like to have a third party consultant group come in to review the potential site as well as other alternatives to make sure that we get the optimum site for the new facility,” Rose said.

Rose said they should have a consultant chosen by late February or early March. He said they have contacted one company and got a price estimate of $24,000 to $28,000. But that price was for the firm to do all the research, and Rose said they should be able to get a better price since they have a lot of the necessary data already collected.

The property was purchased in 2005 when officials saw the growing need for another station. Harrisburg Fire Chief Bryan Dunn has previously said that one of the reasons they agreed to place the fire station at that location was because at the time it was the only place they could purchase property at the time.

Harrisburg has grown since that decision was made, a factor that could affect the location of the station

“We’re starting to see new residential growth in particular that obviously after 2008 seemed to come to a screeching halt all over the place. Now, we’re getting more interest in residential development and building here,” Rose said. “So I’m sure we’ll take a look at where the projections are going for new growth.”

In the end, officials just want to make sure they have the best spot for firefighters to respond to calls.

“We prefer to try and make sure that when we locate this one we don’t regret it five or 10 years down the road because we should have moved it two miles over in another direction to get better coverage,” Rose said. “I think it’s as much a precautionary thing just to make sure that before we invest a million plus dollars in a station that we’ve made sure that we’ve got the right location.”

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