10th Avenue fire station progress stalled

KENNEWICK, Wash. -- KEPR learned the push to put a new fire station in Kennewick has run into a snag. The city has bought some land, but it needs more land on West Tenth. And a neighbor there isn't budging.

Tenth Avenue is a major route for emergency workers. It allows first responders to travel to parts of the city that don't have fire stations.

"The southwest of the city is really uncovered. Council's goal is to try and maintain a four minute travel time for EMS and a five minute time for fire calls," says Fire Chief Neil Hines with Kennewick.

It's why they proposed a new fire station be put in on 10th Avenue.
The city has most of the land it needs for the fire station.
But it needs about an acre more.

"If it was square, it'd probably be enough land, but since it's not square, we need the acreage next door," Hines continued.

And that's where the problem lies. The acreage next door is where Ron Potter's family has lived for generations.

Ron says he and his wife have been negotiating with Kennewick for years over the proposed fire station:

"We're really tired of it. I can tell you that we've tired of the pressure on us about the whole thing," he says.

Ron doesn't want the noise a fire station would bring. And he thinks there are simply better places for it to go.

"We don't think it's a place to have a fire station in a residential district like this," he continued.

Kennewick's Fire Chief is working with the Potters to reach a settlement. They don't want to resort to eminent domain and just take the acre of land they need. Ron hopes that doesn't happen, either.

"They say they're willing to make concessions to us, and maybe it'll work, maybe it won't work. I guess that's to be seen,” Ron says.

Kennewick hoped to make it work months ago and until there's a deal in place, the station is in flux.

Kennewick says it does not want to impose eminent domain, but since they have already acquired the property next to the Potters', they need to reach some kind of agreement. There is no time-line for when the station could be up and running.