Archive for Thursday, May 1, 2008

Fire chief seems to be asking right questions

May 1, 2008

Whether or not a referendum results from Eudora Fire Chief Randy Ates' research into a new public safety building, it appears the right questions are being asked. The Eudora City Council last month gave the fire chief the green light to explore details of a new station to replace the crowded facility on Main Street.

It is encouraging that Ates will look at the future needs of not only his department and the emergency medical service but the Eudora Police Department. It is also hopeful that Ates will explore the reuse of present Eudora USD 491 properties the district has outgrown.

Perhaps most interesting is Ates willingness to discuss a possible future merger with the Eudora Township Fire Department. While such a merger may be years away, but open examination could defuse some of the pitfalls and emotions that topic is sure to spark.

We would add to the questions that should be researched where a new home to the city's fire department, police department and emergency medical service would best be located in a city that has greatly changed since the present station was built on Main Street. With due respect to Ates, the answer to that might require a more exhaustive, professional (and expensive) study.

We don't know if this is the right time to contemplate a $2 million bond issue with recession widely predicted, a marked slowdown in growth in the city, and the bond for the city pool and community center and the $45 million USD 491 bond package still fresh in voters' minds. But providing the answers to the right questions will be helpful when the city decides in is time to replace its crowded public safety building.

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