For a second time this month, the city council has postponed a vote on approving additional funding for a new firehouse in University City.
"I don’t feel comfortable voting on this," said Councilmember L. Michael Glickert at Monday night's city council meeting. "There are just too many unknowns." Several councilmembers voiced their support for a study session on the issue.
"Staff will arrange a study session as soon as possible," City Manager Lehman Walker said.
The vote to delay followed comment by several residents who opposed allocating the additional money for the firehouse, which is to be built on Vernon and Westgate avenues.
Gregory Pace urged the council to not fund a fire station that "We don’t need."
Elsie Glickert took issue with the proposed location of the fire station at Vernon and Westgate. She said the area floods repeatedly.
"This is not the right location for a fire station. It is a natural river," said Glickert. "Just because the previous administration made an error in judgment, do not have this on your conscience. Please, do not vote out money for this mistake," she said.
The proposed new firehouse would replace Engine House No. 1, currently located at 6801 Delmar Blvd.
At the last meeting on Sept. 12, councilmembers also delayed voting on whether to allocate additional money for the firehouse, saying the issue needed more study.
University City received a grant in the amount of $2,612,197 for constructing the new firehouse. That was $536,981 less than originally requested. Now, the fire department is requesting additional funding from the city in the amount of $674,494 to complete the project, as the current construction costs exceed the amount the city has allotted for the project.
City staff has recommended approving the additional firehouse funds—saying the money should come out of city reserves.