Cape buys lot for new fire station; construction may be decade away

Thursday, February 2, 2006

The city of Cape Girardeau recently acquired 1.12 acres of land at the corner of Lexington Avenue and a future extension of Flad Avenue to serve as the future site of fire station No. 4.

Fire chief Rick Ennis said the fire department is slowly outgrowing the current station No. 4 on Kurre Lane, but construction will probably not begin for another 10 years on the acquired land.

"I think it's good the way the city plans for the future. The property out there is going to do nothing but increase in value," Ennis said. "The planning department and fire department got together and identified this property as a good location, so they decided to move on it."

The land purchased in January from Trifecta Development for $180,000 will provide a better outlet and easier street access than the Kurre Lane site, which is in a residential area. Currently there is a gravel parking lot on the property.

"There's really not a lot of land available in that general location, so we thought it was important to acquire land in advance the way we did on North Sprigg Street," planner Martha Brown said, referring to where the city recently broke ground for a new fire station No. 3.

Ennis said plans for the new station are still in the idea phase, but he expects the new station to be similar in size and technology to the station planned for North Sprigg Street. He said he would not be surprised if the fire department begins building a fifth city fire station before planning begins on Lexington Avenue.

No money has been allocated in the city's capital improvements program for building new fire stations in the next five years. The city has set aside $300,000 for renovations on fire station No. 1 and $150,000 for roof replacement and building repair on fire station No. 2. This money comes from fire sales tax revenue.

tgreaney@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 245

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