Kennewick Council approved buying property for new fire station

Tri-City Herald Staff WriterApril 30, 2013 

— Kennewick is moving forward on buying property on 10th Avenue, where it could put a new fire station.

The city council unanimously agreed Tuesday to buy an acre at 5500 W. 10th Ave.

Kennewick officials have been looking for property on 10th Avenue between Edison and Kellogg streets for a fifth fire station.

Kennewick Fire Chief Neil Hines said the property is needed to help improve travel times to southwest Kennewick and to provide backup for the other fire stations.

The property, which includes a house, will cost the city about $275,750.

Councilman Paul Parish said he supported buying the land because the city found someone willing to sell. He said he would oppose using eminent domain to take someone’s land against their will.

Some of the neighbors asked the council not to buy the property.

Pamela Potter said her home was the first built in that area in 1968. She said she doesn’t understand why the station needs to be built in an established neighborhood.

There is property on Edison Street less than a mile from 10th Avenue where a station could go, she said. Getting to that property from her home takes about 50 seconds, Potter said.

She also said she was concerned noise and traffic would increase.

Councilman Don Britain asked if property in Hansen Park or near Columbia Center Boulevard and 10th Avenue would work for a fire station.

Hines said Columbia Center would be too close to the existing station near the Benton County Justice Center, and the other property would not meet the goal of being backup for other stations.

Councilman Bob Olson said those who have property near the fire station at 27th Avenue and Ely Street say the station is a great neighbor.

The city may need to look into buying neighboring property to make the land on 10th Avenue large enough for a fire station, Hines said. He said they would like to buy an acre of pasture owned by Potter.

A fact sheet will be distributed to neighbors, officials said. More information will be available on the city’s website, and community meetings will be scheduled.

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