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RALPH ELLIS
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The grassy field is no longer an official Roswell park, but don't tell kids in the Terramont subdivision. They play there every day.

"It's kind of a dog park," parent Jennifer Wagner said. "There's a garden out there, kids ride bikes and play ball."

But Terramont's "park" is endangered. Roswell wants to build a new fire station and the city-owned field is the top choice.

Fire Chief Ricky Spencer said the city started looking for a new site because it needs to shut down Fire Station No. 4 on Holcomb Bridge Road, about three-tenths of a mile east of the subdivision entrance.

The station is three decades old and in bad shape. A few months ago a truck backing into the station knocked a hole in a wall and revealed a serious termite infestation.

"There was nothing but sawdust in there," Spencer said. "It was eaten up."

Spencer said the station sits on about nine-tenths of an acre. The area is so small trucks must back into the bays, causing traffic slowdowns on busy Holcomb Bridge Road.

The tract beside Terramont is almost three acres, big enough to allow for drive-through truck bays. Spencer estimates a two-story station would cost between $2 million and $2.5 million. He said the city might build a small park or picnic area on the land.

"We want to be neighborhood friendly," he said.

Residents say the field was an actual city park until about eight years ago. Parks director Joe Glover said the park lost its parking lot when Holcomb Bridge Road was widened. The playground equipment became old and unsafe so the city took it out, along with the baseball field fencing, he said.

Only a dusty baseball backstop remains. Glover said the city mows the grass but considers the field "open space," not a park.

Terramont residents hope to talk the city into finding another spot or rebuilding on the current Fire Department site. They say traffic is already bad enough and that the construction noise would be bothersome, not to mention day-to-day life with an active station.

Some neighborhood moms, like Wagner, would like to see the field become a real park. Wagner traded e-mails in 2003 and 2004 with the Parks Department about making repairs and installing equipment, but said little came of it.

Jonathan and Rebecca Alford said they picked their house partly because the field promised quietness.

Now the couple is talking about selling the house.

"It would be a turnoff to me," Rebecca Alford said. "A fire station in your backyard? I don't want it."

Copyright 2010 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
September 29, 2010

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It's a good thing firefighters don't like to respond to homes neighboring the fire station, I mean we wouldn't want these people to feel safer or anything like that now would we?
Of course not. That would make way too much sense. Haha. I have seen this station, and a re-vamp is definitely needed. We will see where this one goes.
"It would be a turnoff to me," Rebecca Alford said. "A fire station in your backyard? I don't want it."

- Until her house was on fire or some of those sexy fireman were out washing the trucks....
FETC, you're too much. And lord knows no one wants to see most of my dept. washing trucks, we start looking like a beached whale club. Haha. But it is too true that when we aren't needed, they don't like us, but when their house is on fire, we didn't get there fast enough and it is all our fault.
Hey Nate, another funny comment on this story is there is a correlation with neighborhood "Moms" and fireman.... I will leave it at that bro!
Only in Atlanta. You can't make this stuff up.
Sadly, this part of GA is all rich, stuck up, snobs. I grew up right around the corner. People will bitch and complain about nothing. It is the way it is. I would have loved to live next to a firehouse. The only thing that I can see their side on is sirens late at night, but honestly, if the station was in a neighborhood, I am sure they would hold off on blasting the Q and airhorns until they were out on Medlock Bridge or 141. Lord knows.
Quote-
Jonathan and Rebecca Alford said they picked their house partly because the field promised quietness.

Now the couple is talking about selling the house.

"It would be a turnoff to me," Rebecca Alford said. "A fire station in your backyard? I don't want it."
-Unquote.

So, if they are going to move there should'nt be any problem with having a fire station behind their house, right? I would like the station that I respond out of to be closer to my home. Insurance companies like those kinds of things. Some peoples kids-whats up with that !! ?? !!
Hey if she moves out, knock down her house and make it a station!
Sounds like an opportunity for the FD to make friends with the community. 3 acres ought to be enough to put in their fire station and still have room for some sort of a park as well. Maybe put in playground equipment for the kids to enjoy. Maybe the firefighters could even help build it, and put up a big sign so everyone knows what great guys their firefighters are. Could really improve relations and smooth over the new fire station.

Or... maybe the neighbors are all just jerks and you can't win.
Having this fire station right behind their houses is not going to be a selling point, because it wouldn't make a difference to the current situation. The existing station is just up the road a little bit. Insurance companies will not care one bit that a new station is .5 of a mile closer because that translates to 40 seconds driving time. The small handfull of residents that actually border the vacant land are not going to magically feel safer because they can see the back of a fire house through the woods, especially when they know the current one is so close already.

There is obviously going to be a bias opinion to this matter on a firefighting forum, but seriously people, take off the helmet for a second and realistically think about this from a ordinary resident perspective. If you really want to sell this to the public then you need to address their concerns. The 'you'll need us one day' attitude is of absolutely no help whatsoever and just demonstrates that you are out of touch with the population that you serve. If you want to keep all interested parties happy then you need to address the concerns.

These residents are gaining virtually nothing, but losing something they use and value nearly everyday.

The fire department need to come up with better arguments and make some compromises.
So they would rather have the open field there because it promised quietness. Oh thats until the neighborhood psycho goes on a killing spree. Those noisy fire trucks will just bring the value of my house down. Really?

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