By Joe Courter
The purchase of the lots south of the Civic Media Center/Citizens Co-op (between SE 5th and 6th Avenues) for the new Fire Station has not moved forward yet, due to bureaucratic paperwork for the most part. However, during the past month, the stakeholders in this future change have been meeting with City Commissioners and representatives from the City and Fire Department to negotiate an equitable way for this to take place.
The stakeholders, which include Citizens Co-op, Repurpose Project, Civic Media Center, Wild Iris Books, Church of Holy Colors, Sequential Artists Workshop and Display Gallery, are in agreement that our goals are:
1. An arrangement for about 30 parking spaces on 5th Avenue by the Co-op Courtyard gate to replace the current parking lot that will be lost.
2. Preservation of the Repurpose Project building for a future business, even if Repurpose Project has to move.
3. Assistance to the Repurpose Project in finding a new location, if needed or helpful to them.
4. Input on Fire Department landscaping design to keep connectivity on the South Main corridor.
The stakeholders recognize the need for a new Fire Station and that this location is the City’s best option. We believe they will be good neighbors, better than a big commercial development or condo/apartment complex. Our side has been generous and cooperative in the process, and have had favorable response in meeting with City Commissioners. We have been assured that our operations will not be affected during the interim period after purchase (soon) and before construction begins (October 2014).
We trust and hope that good will and fair play will result in a win/win for all, much in the way the construction of Fire Station 8 on NW 34th Street was done with neighborhood input and sensitivity.