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Why Peoria Purchased Land For New Fire Station When It Already Owns Land A Block Away

The two lots in question
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The two lots in question

The Peoria Fire Department is moving forward on plans to construct a new fire station on the city's South Side.

The Peoria City Council approved the $40,000 purchase of a plot of land at Western and Howett on Tuesday.

One WCBU listener asked why the city purchased the land when it already owns sizable space just a block away at Western and Lincoln. He said he was unable to get any answers from the city. 

A WCBU reporter contacted Peoria Fire Chief Ed Olehy. He said the reason for the selection has to do with the setback from the road. 

Olehy said it is not the intention for fire trucks to pull out directly onto Western. He said the fire trucks need an approach to get off the street, and the lot on Howett was better suited to that purpose.

The Lincoln lot's close proximity to the New Beginnings church further complicated plans to have fire trucks pull out on and off the road from that location, he said. 

An initial meeting on the new $2.5 million fire station was held Wednesday. Olehy said the hope is to have the new station up and running a year from now. The aging fire station on SW Jefferson will close once the new station is up and running. 

Traffic lights on Western will be pre-empted to allow for fire trucks to easily get out onto the main road and move quickly once the fire station is completed. 

Copyright 2021 WCBU. To see more, visit WCBU.

Tim Shelley is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.