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For now, Zephyrhills firefighters will stay at airport

ZEPHYRHILLS — City firefighters will continue to bunk at the Zephyrhills Municipal Airport barracks while officials contemplate building them a new station.

The crew from Station 2 moved to the airport in January after the downtown fire station was flooded and heavily damaged.

The city's insurance company agreed to pay for the station's damaged floors, walls and toilets, but fire officials want to put the $26,500 in insurance money toward replacing the aging station with a new building.

The location of the makeshift station sparked some concern at the City Council meeting Monday, as a railroad line runs near the airport. Council member Celia Graham worried that responders could be delayed if a train was coming through.

But Fire Rescue Chief Keith Williams said fire rescue coverage is actually needed near the airport on the south side of town, because the city's two existing fire stations are within 2 miles of each other farther north.

"I think we need to make our mind up: Are we going to build a new station or not?" City Manager Steve Spina said. "I don't want to put more money into a building then in two years we're going to walk away from it anyway."

The city recently applied for state money to help build a new fire station.

Council members decided to see if that money comes through before deciding what to do about Station 2.

In other council business, a Fort Lauderdale-based skateboarding program got the green light to host a two-day workshop in mid May.

In recent months there has been some debate from youngsters about wearing helmets while skating at the city-owned skate park.

The Rev. Tim Mitchell, who leads a church on Chancey Road, brought the idea for a workshop to the City Council. Mitchell and the East Pasco Ministerial Association want to bring a popular skateboarder to the city to chat with youths and city leaders about skating safety and other issues.

For now, Zephyrhills firefighters will stay at airport 03/24/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 9:46am]

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