The Fire Department Board of Directors commissioned a needs assessment, which also reviewed response time models from the three current station locations. It was determined that a new station location should be located between Lexington Avenue and Snelling Avenue along County Road E., ideally in a commercial area rather than a residential neighborhood. The property needed to be 3-4 acres in size to accommodate 24/7 staffing and the necessary trucks and equipment.
In looking at that corridor, the only property that fit those requirements was the university property. The fire department approached Bethel to see if they would be open to selling some of their property. The identified location at Bethel is also attractive because it allows the trucks to go north to a major, controlled intersection, rather than south through residential neighborhoods. Trucks can control the intersection before they get to the intersection, rather than having to navigate a busy side street. Additionally, the location is south of the railroad tracks, so the trucks don’t need to wait for trains to pass.
Finally, other sites would have required multiple property acquisitions to get to the size needed, as well as demolition costs.