Friday, December 9, 2022

Here’s what’s on tap for Thursday’s City Council meeting

The Williamsburg Volunteer Fire Department is hosting its annual door to door fundraiser from March 22 to April 5. (Andrew Harris/ WYDaily)
(Andrew Harris/ WYDaily)

Public safety is high on the agenda for the Williamsburg City Council meeting Thursday.

City Council is set to meet at 2 p.m. at the Stryker Center, at 412 N. Boundary St., according to an online agenda.

Items on the agenda include a legislative briefing, monthly reports and discussion and direction to staff regarding the recently-completed fire station location analysis.

A consistently increasing number of emergency calls in the city have prompted City Council and staff to look for ways to improve emergency response to lodging, businesses and homes within the city limits.

At its Jan. 8 meeting, City Council asked city staff to evaluate potential parcels where a second fire station could be located. The idea of a second fire station was prompted in 2016 by the need to renovate the existing station, which was built in 1978.

City Council has not determined whether it will build a new station or simply renovate the existing one on Lafayette Street — or both.

In an updated recommendation for the Thursday meeting, city staff are now suggesting renovating the existing fire station and constructing a second one at 912 Capitol Landing Road.

Background

In 2018, city firefighters responded to 4,605 emergency calls, nearly 500 calls more than 2017 and more than 1,600 more than 2005.

Fire Chief Pat Dent said an increasing number of special events in the city has also increased the load on the existing one-station system.

Despite a continually rising number of calls, the response time goal remains the same: a four-minute response time for the first unit on-scene in a majority of the city, and less than eight minutes for all city areas.

RELATED STORY: Build or renovate the old? Increased calls, aging building prompt council to consider 2nd fire station

City emergency personnel reach 66 percent of city addresses within the eight-minute response time.

City staff have said some areas in the north end of the city average a 10-minute response time — indicated a second station could possibly help improve response times.

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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