published Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

Chattanooga's East Lake residents back new fire hall


by Cliff Hightower
Chris Anderson
Chris Anderson
Photo by John Rawlston /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Residents of East Lake have convinced their Chattanooga city councilman that they support construction of a $1.5 million fire hall in their neighborhood.

Chris Anderson, District 7 council member, said Monday that after meeting with residents, he will support the new fire hall. Last week, Anderson questioned the location of the new fire hall, asking why the facility was to be located in a residential area and whether residents would be bothered by sirens. Council members voted 9-0 to defer their vote.

Anderson and Chattanooga Fire Department Chief Lamar Flint last week visited constituents who live in the Eighth Avenue area to hear directly from them.

"They feel the added safety outweighed the sirens," Anderson said.

The Chattanooga City Council is expected to vote on a resolution tonight allowing up to $1.5 million to be spent on the fire hall at 3205 Eighth Ave.

Wilma Smith, who lives on Eighth Avenue, said she called Anderson about the fire hall and several residents met with him. Her house would be directly across the street from the proposed fire hall.

"We just let them know where we stood," she said. "Everyone in the neighborhood wants it built. We'll feel safer when it's built."

Flint said residents overwhelmingly support the fire hall.

"They view us as part of the neighborhood," he said. "You always want the neighbors, our customers, to be happy."

Contact staff writer Cliff Hightower at chightower@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6480. Follow him at twitter.com/cliffhightower or face book.com/cliff.hightower.

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