City of Marmaduke planning for second fire station

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

MARMADUKE, AR (KAIT) - "It's a win/win situation.   You can't lose by having another fire station," said Steve Dixon, Marmaduke Mayor.

Dixon is hoping grant money will help the city get the town's second fire station up and running sooner rather than later.

"It's a rough building but it was a bargain price and we just felt like we couldn't afford to pass it up knowing that in the future that we would have an opportunity for grants to renovate it," said Dixon.

Dixon says the town purchased the land and building for 35 thousand dollars earlier this year.  While it needs renovating, Dixon has high hopes for the building.

"We can probably put three to four fire trucks in it and various equipment and have a training center inside that building," said Dixon.

You might be asking yourself why does a town the size of Marmaduke need two fire stations?    The mayor says the answer in large part is because of the railroad tracks.

"The town is separated by the railroad tracks," said Dixon.

What will eventually be the new station is in the east side of town, home to between 250 and 300 hundred people and many businesses.  With two industries relying heavily on the rails, the city just wants to make sure both sides are equally protected.

"There's time that the railroad crossings are blocked and we just need fire protection on both sides of the railroad tracks that we can immediately respond with," said Dixon.

"We're all volunteers, there's 15 volunteers," said Nicki McDowell.

McDowell says the current fire station will continue as the primary one, but he says the new one will house more equipment and the ladder truck.

"If there was a train to be stopped on the tracks we could still get over there and get to a truck and get to the fire," said McDowell.

"It will be a fantastic benefit to the residents and industry on that side of town," said Dixon.

Dixon says they are applying for two grants both for 50-thousand dollars.  He says they should know something by the end of the year on at least one of them.  He adds even if they don't get the money, they will still renovate that building into a new fire station, it will just be a longer process.

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