10th Avenue fire station close to deal

KENNEWICK, Wash. -- Kennewick has been looking to put in a fire station on Tenth Avenue near Edison Street.

The new station would cut response times in half for that area, but after almost a year of negotiations, plans haven't progressed.

Gilbert Pitkoff has lived on Eighth Avenue for almost 23 years.
He remembers when the area mostly farmland.

"Across on the other side of Tenth was just an apple orchard," Gilbert says.

But as Kennewick has grown, so has the need for more emergency vehicles. And after the city scouted locations for a new fire station, they pegged the area right across the street from Gilbert's house.

He's not against community safety, but he's worried what having fire engines near his home will do to the street.

"It's going to definitely impact the noise level in the neighborhood," he continued.

In talking to just a few neighbors on Eighth Street, just across the way from where the proposed station would go in, many of them say they wish the city would keep looking for new spots for the station.

"It doesn't seem right to me that it's gonna end up in our neighborhood which was long since, here way before that other neighborhood on Tenth," Gilbert says.

I spoke with Kennewick fire officials on the phone, they say this is the ideal spot for the station.

They already have most of the space needed, but still need to purchase an additional acre from a neighbor.

They say negotiations are moving forward and they should have it settled by the middle of next month.

Gilbert feels like he's been in the dark about process from the beginning.

"You know, I don't know. And I won't know until it's too late to do anything about it probably," he says.

And until a deal is reached with the property owners, the station will still be just lines on paper.

The city held several public meetings regarding the new stations. They're hoping to have a deal on the land by next month.