The city of Kennewick may have found enough land for a new fire station in the southwest part of town.
The Kennewick City Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to buy two properties on the corner of Kellogg Street and 10th Avenue for $400,000.
Kennewick Fire Chief Neil Hines said a fifth fire station there would not only improve response time to southwest Kennewick, but it also would provide good backup to the city's other four fire stations.
It's a good location for a new fire station because the two arterial streets there have a signalized intersection, said Evelyn Lusignan, the city's customer service manager.
"It's at a great intersection to give us response in all four directions," Hines said.
The city has been looking for land for a new fire station so the fire department can better meet the goals of responding to emergency medical calls in four minutes and fires in southwest Kennewick in five minutes. At the moment, travel time is closer to eight minutes.
The city had bought a one-story home and an acre at 5500 W. 10th Ave. last year for a new station, but Hines said at that time the city would need to buy adjacent property to have enough land. The cost was $275,750.
Lusignan said the city was unable to reach an agreement with the adjacent property owners. And another property owner was willing to sell.
The city previously had wanted to buy the property at 6004 W. 10th Ave., but at that time the owners, Eugene and Linda Williams, were not willing to sell, she said. The two parcels include a two-story home and a shop. They recently changed their mind.
Hines said it was actually their first choice for location, but they looked at properties farther east because the city wanted a willing seller.
The city had budgeted money for the land purchase, Lusignan said. There currently is not any money budgeted to build the station.
But buying land was the first step, Hines said.
The city has an 180-day due diligence period before the sale closes to take soil samples to make sure there are no issues, said Lisa Beaton, Kennewick city attorney.
Should the sale go through, the council likely will consider surplusing the property the city bought last year for a fire station, Lusignan said. If that is approved, the city would offer the land for sale.
The city will hold a community meeting about the future fire station at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 13 at Grace Baptist Church on 10th Avenue and Union Street, Hines said. The city sent out about 530 information packets to community members.
-- Kristi Pihl: 582-1512; firstname.lastname@example.org