According to a report from KAIT8, the plans and funding for a new fire station continue to divide residents and leaders in Oak Grove Heights.
In February, there was a disagreement between council members and Mayor Rudy Garner on how to fund the new station. Although everyone agreed that a new building was needed, they have not yet agreed on from where the money will come and which plans to approve.
In December 2020, a motion passed in a 5-1 vote to move 13 percent of the city’s sewer fund to the fire department to help pay for a new building. The motion would not increase tax for Oak Grove Heights residents, but would only move the 13 percent from one fund to another.
When the ordinance was voted on in January, it was defeated by a 3-3 tie, with Garner abstaining from the vote. Garner later said the city needs all available monies for future sewer projects and to pay the city’s existing debt on those sewer systems.
Several residents have voiced their opinions on the disagreement. The residents are also at odds on which plans the council should approve. However, both sides agree progress is needed at the next council meeting on March 15.
Currently, there are two plans for the new fire station, one proposed by council members approved by Fire Chief Justin Moore, and another that will proposed in the future by Garner. The plans proposed in December included a training room, kitchen and offices.