Grant money to help fund new fire station in Paragould

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

PARAGOULD, AR -- Built in the 1960's, Paragould's Fire Station number 2 located on Court Street on the east side of town, is too small and outdated according to Mayor Mike Gaskill.

"We've been looking for property," said Gaskill.

The city was looking for property for station number 2 on the same side of town in a different location.

"We need to be on the other side of the creek in case we have one of those disasters that might take out a bridge or something," said Gaskill.

Thanks to a  more than 112-thousand dollar grant, the city was able to buy land in east Paragould for a new station.  Gaskill says he would like to eventually see the station made into a secondary main station rather than a sub station.

"...And have more emergency equipment in that in case we have something and we get separated from that side of town," said Gaskill.

In addition to paying for the land, city officials say the grant money will also help fund additional emergency equipment.

Anytime you can work out of something that's new and more modern, it's easier to function in," said Kevin Lang.

Fire Chief Kevin Lang says when it comes to responding to emergencies, response time is key--adding that a new station will benefit firefighters, and those they serve.

"It's going to help our response times because of where it's located.   We're going to be able to go any direction as soon as we leave the station.   Make a turn and get anywhere a little bit quicker," said Lang.

Mayor Gaskill says the city will pay for the actual construction of the fire station, which he expects to begin early next year.

"I really think that probably 9 to 12 months would probably build it," said Gaskill.

Gaskill estimates the construction to cost roughly three-quarters of a million dollars to be paid out of the city's reserves.  He credits Senator Robert Thompson from Paragould with help getting that grant money.  When the new station 2 is complete, Gaskill says they will use the old station 2 as a police substation.

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