College Station fire officials look to spark interest in a new fire station. With city officials considering which projects to tack on to this fall's bond referendum, is a sixth fire station something they should include?
Stations have been shifting like crazy in College Station. Case-in-point, the Fire Station 3 building on Highway 6 near Barron Road is up for sale as they get ready to relocate.
As stations shift, so do their coverage area, and officials say one key part of town is in danger.
In 1997, University Drive didn't look anything like it does today. Now, it's where firefighters say the big need is centered.
"It's getting towards critical," said College Station Fire Chief R.B. Alley. "It's one of those points where we continue to grow on the north end of the city."
It was 1997 that Fire Station 1 moved from its Texas Avenue location to Holleman Drive, meaning coverage on University began lacking.
Who provides service on the University Drive corridor from Northgate to east of the bypass is split currently. If you're in Northgate and a fire breaks out, Station 4 answers. If it's a medical emergency, Bryan's Fire Station 2 comes.
East of the bypass, any call rings to that relocated Fire Station 1.
With big business sprouting up and big traffic coming through, there are times the fire department can't make it under the 4:30 mark College Station firefighter have as their target to reach a scene. Plus, calls for service have been increasing 10 to 12 percent each year recently.
"It's hand in hand, if you will. The growth generates a lot more visitors, a lot more activity, a lot more traffic in that area," Alley said. "Both of those issues kind of work against us as we try to respond to calls in that area."
There are plenty of other projects under consideration by the city when it comes to this proposed bond, more than $100 million from what we're told. Not all will make the cutting block.