Austin Fire Department interim Fire Chief Thomas Dodds said during today’s Sunset Valley City Council meeting the department no longer sees Sunset Valley as its preferred site for a future fire station.
As of 2 p.m. this afternoon the department is currently exploring a site within the city of Austin instead, he said. While Dodds said the property is located northwest of Sunset Valley, he could not disclose the exact location of the current preferred site for the station.
However, he did say that if a station is built at the undisclosed location, response times in Sunset Valley should improve.
“We have been exploring in the general area for a while, but sites come up one day and go away another,” Dodd said at the meeting. “At this point we feel very strongly that [the new site]is a viable option for us. We were excited about the opportunity [of being located in Sunset Valley], but a lot of factors had to be considered.”
While negotiations are still underway and Sunset Valley’s Uplands Tract could be an alternative, he said the department is confident negotiations will ultimately be successful. The fire department’s goal is to complete the process of selecting a site by the end of 2018, Dodd said.
Austin Fire Department had approached Sunset Valley in August about potentially entering an interlocal agreement in which the city would build the department a station, which would later be purchased from the city. Sunset Valley could have received a discount for fire service as a result.