The search for a third Mt. Juliet fire station site is in high gear after city commissioners directed the city manager to look for viable sites, specifically on the north side of town.
"I am in the process of compiling sites for the (Mt. Juliet) Board of Commissioners to consider, but no site has been selected thus far," said City Manager Kenneth Martin. "Once the research and data have been collected, I will take the information and findings before the board of commissioners for further guidance and directives."
The Fire Department of Mt. Juliet began operations Sept. 30, 2013 at a brand new fire hall on Belinda Parkway in south Mt. Juliet. Last December FDMJ began to share Wilson Emergency Management Agency Station 3 behind City Hall for a second base of operations. Also, a fire engine is located on Lebanon Road and manned by volunteer firefighters when necessary.
However, there is a need for a permanent, new fire station on the north side of town, according to fire and city officials, so all citizens are covered.
Recently, the Lamb Brothers location on Nonaville Road was pinpointed for a possible third site, however, city leaders now want to scope out "better suited" sites, according to Martin. When considering the Lamb Brothers building, the deal may have included some type of "swap" for city-owned land plus hefty costs to remodel the existing building into a fire hall.
"City leaders prefer to build a free-standing, state-of-the-art facility that's brand new and built specifically for a fire station," said Martin. "The research conducted while considering the Lamb Brothers building brought the board of commissioners to the decision to go new, this way the station will not only better serve the citizens, but will also come with a standard facility and equipment warranties."
Possible sites pinpointed
Martin said he and his team are focused on the South Greenhill, Nonaville and Lebanon Road areas, from Nonaville Road westbound.
"The directive from the board of commissioners is to find the location that best serves the citizens of Mt. Juliet and the entire city, while also providing the most coverage area," Martin said. "At this point the focus is on land."
At a recent meeting, Mayor Ed Hagerty urged Martin to get out a map and "draw circles" to find a site that would ensure every citizen would be within five miles of a station.
"The city leaders want the proposed fire station to be a perfect fit for our citizens and the community overall," said Martin. "They also want it to stand the test of time and be something that everyone an be proud of, all while being functional."
Martin said the property in question needs to be at least 1.5 acres or better in size. He said if anyone has available property they are interested in selling or donating to the city, to contact him at 615-754-2552.
"The city is focused on doing all we can to enhance the public safety and quality of life for those we so proudly serve," he said.
Writer Laurie Everett may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.