Legislators Welcome Fire Station Replacement
Assembly Votes to Start Long-Awaited Construction Project
State legislators applauded the Anchorage Assembly’s unanimous vote tonight to move ahead on a long-needed replacement of Anchorage Fire Station 3.
Representatives Max Gruenberg and Geran Tarr (both D-Anchorage) testified in favor of the Assembly’s action. “Station 3 serves a critical community need, and members of the Eastside Delegation have worked toward this for years,” Gruenberg said. “I’m pleased to see this important public safety project is finally moving ahead.”
The present facility is over fifty years old and suffers significant access, wiring, asbestos, sewer, and other problems. A new fire station will be constructed on the property approved for purchase tonight, which is at the north side of the Alaska Native Cultural Charter School on the west side of Bragaw at 5th Avenue, just south of the Bragaw/Glenn Highway interchange.
Rep. Gruenberg was instrumental in securing state funding, initially for a major station rebuild, then for an outright replacement. “We learned it would be more cost effective to build a new station rather than try to fix up the old one,” Gruenberg said. “And the new facility, although close to the old location, will provide easier access to Eastside neighborhoods while still allowing quick response to Merrill Field.”
A community-based site selection process led to the decision to purchase the 1-acre parcel.
“This is great news,” Rep. Tarr said. “Tonight's action, following the Municipality's commitment to build a three-bay station at the new site, ensures public safety in our area will not be compromised when the new station opens. I appreciate the willingness of the Department to listen to my constituents’ concerns and reach a compromise agreement to keep emergency response vehicles at Fire Station 3.”
The Assembly’s action appropriates $1 million – of a total of $8 million in state grants – to purchase land needed to accommodate the new station, plus $6,000 in closing costs.