Consolidated Fire District No. 2 is reconsidering its options for a new fire station in the south Prairie Village area after Overland Park announced earlier this year that it would not be renewing a contract with the department to provide coverage to a part of that city.
CFD2 had purchased land on 95th Street just south of Meadowbrook Country Club nearly two years ago with the intent of building a new fire station there to replace the deteriorating building at 90th Terrace and Roe Avenue in Prairie Village. But when word reached fire department administrators that Overland Park was considering shifting fire and EMS coverage duties for the area from approximately 95th Street to College Boulevard between Mission Road and Nall Avenue away from CFD2, the department started to review its options.
Now, says Fire Chief Tony Lopez, the department is considering either rebuilding a station on the existing site at 90th Terrace, or even seeking a location a bit further north — somewhere that would provide closer coverage for the southern areas of the district now that the portion of Overland Park isn’t included.
“We’re looking things over pretty carefully, because we want to find the right spot,” he said. “We don’t want to make a 50-year mistake.”
Lopez said the department had recently had the ground underneath the existing station on 90th Terrace examined and determined it was suitable for new construction.
“For a long time we thought there was a natural spring underneath there, but that turned out not to be true,” he said.
Of Overland Park’s decision not to renew its annual contract for approximately $325,000 per year with CFD2, Lopez said “the writing had been on the wall for a while.” CFD2 had provided fire and EMS coverage to that portion of Overland Park for nearly 30 years, but the city was looking to consolidate operations with its own department.
“It’s unfortunate, but it doesn’t impact us in terms of staffing,” he said. “With such a dramatic change, it’s given us a chance to look at how we can consolidate our own coverage a little better toward the central part of the district.”
Lopez said he hopes to have an announcement to make about the location of the new fire station by the first of the new year.