Second Mt. Juliet fire station 'sooner than later'

There's a chance a second Mt. Juliet fire station may be online in less than two years, soon after the opening of the city's first fire station on Belinda Parkway. Mt. Juliet's inaugural fire station on Belinda Parkway is scheduled to be online July 1, and fully operation by November. Howe...
Jun 28, 2013
 Photo: Laurie Everett • Mt. Juliet News

The old Chief Rental building is proposed as a location for a second fire station in Mt. Juliet.

There's a chance a second Mt. Juliet fire station may be online in less than two years, soon after the opening of the city's first fire station on Belinda Parkway.

Mt. Juliet's inaugural fire station on Belinda Parkway is scheduled to be online July 1, and fully operation by November. However, there's buzz about a second fire station on the north end of the city as well.

Mt. Juliet Mayor Ed Hagerty tasked City Manager Kenneth Martin to find a location for a second Mt. Juliet-operated fire station.

"I think it can be done," said Martin. "Sooner than later. He tasked me for 2016, but I think we can do better. It's about creativity, partnering and land swapping."

Martin said there are two possible sites for Station 2. One is at the old Chief Rental Property on Lebanon Road and the other is a portion of land on Nonaville Road, just before Windree Golf Course.

'The top site is the one at former Chief Rental," said Martin. "It can be nearly turn-key."

The facility is twice the size of the newly built Station 1 on Belinda Parkway.

"It's a great location," said Martin. 'It has a kitchen, plumbing, and restrooms."

The facility is 14,000 square feet on 2.5 acres. It's owned by Environmental Science Company, next door. They are asking $1.2 million for the property, but Martin said the city might not need all the acreage and could get the price down to $800,000 to $1 million.

"We are going to have a general contractor come in this week and see how much it would cost to buy and renovate," said Martin.

What's great about the property is the structure already has two large garage doors that would accommodate fire engines, said Martin.

The revenue will come from the existing .20 cent property tax dedicated to emergency services.

Martin said city officials speculated $1.3 million from the tax this year, but thus far the tax has already brought $1.43 million.

He said the more new properties built in the city, the more tax brought in.

"I feel good about the funding source and the new businesses coming to Mt. Juliet," said Martin.

He noted Pier 1 Imports and Ceva Insurance Company.

Martin said he was going to present the option to the city commission and hope they bite.

He said he felt the city could operate the second station with volunteers and full and part-time employees.

Martin said part of the transaction could utilize two acres the city owns on Belinda Parkway that might be of interest to a local business owner. Those two acres were not used during the search for the Station 1 site.

"I think we can pull off two fire stations opened in Mt. Juliet in one to one and a half years in Mt. Juliet," said Martin. "That's a lot sooner than 2016."

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