- Community task force to represent broad range of stakeholders
- Task force to address contentious issues
- Board to draft, adopt charge, appoint task force at work session
- Recommendations to Board by March 15, 2016
The County Board today accepted a recommendation from Acting County Manager Mark Schwartz that the Board create a community task force to help determine how best to move forward with a future location for Fire Station No. 8.
The issue of Fire Station No. 8 has been contentious “because the parameters for the discussion to date have not accommodated the desires of the community…The process has not set well with the community,” Schwartz said. “We must strike out on a new process that rebuilds the community’s trust, respects the need to provide fire/EMS service at the most equitable levels possible throughout the County and recognizes the very real limitations on the supply of County land for support uses and the limitations and pressures on the County budget.”
To read the Acting County Manager’s full statement on Fire Station No. 8, visit the County website.
Board to create task force, adopt charge at work session
Schwartz recommended a County Board work session, where the Board will draft and adopt a charge to create the community task force. He recommended that the Board appoint people to the task force who represent a broad range of stakeholders including current commissions, civic associations, and other groups representing the entire community.
Schwartz recommended that the task force report its recommendation back to the County Board by March 15, 2016, to allow funding, if necessary, to be included in Capital Improvement Plan that will be adopted in 2016.
In 1999, Arlington County began a series of formal studies to determine optimal placement for its network of fire stations, in order to achieve its goal of four-minute response times to as much of Arlington as practicable. A number of thorough studies have been conducted, the most recent in 2012.
The data show that the community will be better served by moving Fire Station No. 8, currently located at 4845 Lee Highway, farther north to reduce response times. The County’s 10-Year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) adopted in July 2014 included plans to rebuild and relocate Fire Station No. 8. Looking at all the study data, as well as County-owned properties, County staff determined that its property at 26th Street North and Old Dominion Road is suitable for the relocation.
Earlier this year, the County Board stated publicly that it is committed to creating at least a one-acre park at the 26th Street North and Old Dominion Drive location, whether or not a fire station is built there. Fire Station No. 8 has a rich history and the County Board also made a public commitment to honor this rich history at the current location.
Over the past 14 months, Arlington County staff have held four community meetings, and has examined all possible locations north of Lee Highway.