Okolona Fire District debates closing Edgewood station

Chief Rich Carlson
Chief Rich Carlson
Kyle Brown
Kyle Brown
Okolona Fire Station 4
Okolona Fire Station 4

By Marisela Burgos - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Okolona Fire Protection District's Board of Trustees is looking at closing one of its stations. The board is deciding whether to close the former Edgewood Fire Department building off Preston Highway, one that it acquired in a 2005 merger with that district. The reason says Chief Rich Carlson - money is tight.

"The economy {has} gone to pot and we're just not getting the tax revenues that we're used to getting. And, it's really a difficult trying to make ends meet around a fire station," said Carlson.

Carlson said the board is looking at the possibility of selling Orchard Avenue property, which is home to Okolona Station Four.

"The financial realities are financial realities and we gotta do what we can to keep this ship afloat," said Carlson.

"$30,000 worth of utilities. I don't think we're that strapped to pull the plug on this station," said Kyle Brown, the board's treasurer, during the September 2 meeting.

Brown, who was Edgewood's ex-fire chief, said the utility bill for that department is less than 1% of the district's nearly $4.4 million budget.

"That small amount of our money, our budget will withstand that," Brown said.

The board appointed a three person committee to gather more information to present to the board, in order for them to make a decision, a deadline for which has not been set.

"They wanted to know some response distance information. They also want to know whether or not there is any viability in selling the building," Carlson said.

"I think it needs to be explored to the furthest extent and I think that's what we're going to do," said Brown.

Carlson does not believe, if the board decides to close the Edgewood fire station, that it would jeopardize public safety.

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