Alachua County Fire Rescue proposing new fire station

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB)- The Alachua County Planning Board is recommending the county not build a new fire station in the Millhopper area.

Alachua County Fire Rescue has requested a special use permit from the county.

This permit would allow them to build a new fire station at the 7500 block of Millhopper Road.

The area is 2.09 acres and surrounds dozens of homes in the area.

One resident says the county should keep the original deed restriction he signed, of single family homes, in mind when making a decision.

"There's got to be a better location out there. All we're asking the county and the fire department to do is work with us. this site that they're picking is not the right site. And if it sounds like i'm the 'not in my backyard guy' it's because I am,” Sam Rice said.

Others are worried about the dangers the new traffic the station could bring.

They say it could pose a risk for pedestrians, bicyclists, and school buses traveling Millhopper Road.

Fire officials say the new station could actually help save lives.

"We'll see a direct benefit from having a fire department or a fire station in their neighborhood. It bolsters the response for all the area fire stations, it increases the ability to have extra units on scene and also extra personnel on scene,” Alachua County Deputy Chief Harold Theus said.

Chief Theus also says if the county allows it, temporary building will serve as the new station in that area by June 1st.

After that, a permanent brick and mortar building could be built in its place.

Discussion of the proposed fire station isn't over yet.

The planning board has set a tentative date for a new hearing on Febuary 27th.