Neighbors concerned about city closing fire station - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Neighbors concerned about city closing fire station

KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Neighbors in south Kansas City are concerned about having to wait longer for firefighters.

Two fire pumpers will be off the streets in about three weeks because a two-year $4 million grant has run dry.

"It is going to be hard. It is already hard enough getting help out here. It is already hard," Verloncia Carr said.

Carr lives in the Cloverleaf Apartments, the most serviced neighborhood for Pumper 1.

But in just three weeks, the nearby Kansas City fire station will close as part of a Kansas City budgeting decision leaving a gap in services for the surrounding area.

"If we had an agreement with Grandview and Belton and surrounding cities, that could help fill that gap. That would be a little bit better for us," said Battalion Chief James Garrett, a spokesman for the Kansas City Fire Department.

KCTV5 learned Tuesday that the fire station just underwent $100,000 worth of renovations between July and December to fix mold, asbestos and leaks using tax money.

Fire Chief Paul Berardi said the department didn't know last July that the city would lose funding to keep the station open.

"Four million dollars compared to $60,000, so you do the math," Berardi said. "It was $100,000 for a health safety issue for the firefighters there that were stationed."

The closest fire station belongs to Grandview, but their fire department only helps out in Kansas City when needed.

An automatic service agreement would require Grandview firefighters to respond to every call in the southern Kansas City area, but that deal is still uncertain.

"The ideal situation is that we have the funds to keep the pumper open and then supply that service, but we don't have that," Garrett said.

Pumper 1 closes June 30.

Grandview's city manager says he is not ready to publicly discuss if they plan to help out Kansas City.

If Grandview doesn't help, pumpers from farther down the road will have to respond, which could mean longer wait times.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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