Judge allows construction of new firehouse in Wildwood to go ahead
WILDWOOD, Mo. (KMOV) - A judge is allowing construction of a new firehouse in Wildwood to move forward.
Monarch Fire Protection District Assistant Chief Les Crews says his department is excited to finally be able to start construction on the new firehouse on Wild Horse Creek Road after a yearlong delay.
“That’s behind us now,” Assistant Chief Crews says. “Now it’s time to move forward and build a fire station voters voted for and give them that protection that they deserve.”
In 2020, voters approved a bond issue to build two new firehouses for the Monarch Fire Protection District and acquire three new firetrucks.
“We’re ready to go and obviously there was a timeline that we wanted to try to establish,” Assistant Chief Crews says. “We still believe we’re gonna be well within that time.”
Resident William Ballard sold more than an acre of land to allow for the new firehouse along Wild Horse Creek Road to be built, but construction has been held up. Wildwood’s mayor said the fire district didn’t include the city in finding land for the new facility or securing needed permits.
“We spent this last year, really with nothing happening because of Monarch’s position that it didn’t have to do anything the city asked it to do, and it essentially ignored us,” Wildwood Mayor Jim Bowlin said in August. “Then the judge said they can’t do that.”
Mayor Bowlin’s big concern with the location of the new firehouse came from a recent traffic study, which showed response times could increase by about ten seconds.
“Our residents expect their mayor and their council to look after their safety and to protect them,” Mayor Bowlin says. “That’s exactly what we’ve done in this case and we will continue to do that not only in this case but any other similar case that comes before us.”
The fire protection district covers 63 miles, serving about 60,000 people.
Monarch Director Jean Millner says the fire station will make quicker response times for a larger amount of the people it serves.
“The mayor of Wildwood and the Monarch Fire Protection District both want to deliver the highest level of services and this will enable us,” Millner says. “We have mutual aid with surrounding communities. We are not worried about the 10-second delay in one direction regarding response times.
The fire station on Wild Horse Creek Road will look similar to the one currently under construction on the corner of Olive and Mason. The firehouse at that location is set to be completed by early 2023.
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