The city of Auburn is currently in negotiations to acquire property for a new fire station in north Auburn, the fastest growing sector of the city both now and in future projections.
Money to purchase the property, located at the corner of Miracle and Farmville roads, has already been allocated in the FY2019 budget, said City Manager Jim Buston.
"That’s the critical component because we’ve got to have land," he said. " We’ve already asked the architect to start designing those components of the fire station that he can design without knowing where it’s going to be, without the topology of the land. There’s certain things that he can be designing just to get a head start."
The fire station, which will be the sixth in the city, will serve north Auburn, which has seen rapid growth over the past decade. From 2011 to 2016, the majority of acres annexed into the city (317 acres) fell in the northwest portion of the city outside of Shug Jordan Parkway.
Projections for the future show that area will continue to be the fastest growing part of the city from 2017-2030, with an additional 1,914 single-family units being built out of a total of 5,196 units citywide, according to the city's growth model.
The city has already budgeted $3.4 million in FY2021 for the construction of the new fire station, for which Ward 2 City Councilman Kelley Griswold has lobbied at multiple meetings.
"We’ve had this identified for a long time that eventually we’re going to need a fire station. We don’t need it yet, but we don’t want to wait until we need it," Buston said. "That was an ideal location for us, for the north of Auburn and the way Auburn’s growing. Based on what we know that might be coming there — that big development that might be going out there — that was the perfect location for it."
Buston added that the station will need its own pumper fire engine and that yearly operating costs are projected at roughly $1 million.