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Ocoee approves site for new Fire Station 38 in District 1

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Norine Dworkin

Editor in Chief

Wednesday, July 19, 2023


Norine Dworkin/VoxPopuli

Ocoee Commissioner Scott Kennedy said that jumpstarting the process to construct a permanent home for Fire Station 38 was among his top five priorities when he was elected to represent District 1. The site was approved Tuesday.

The Ocoee city commission voted Tuesday, as part of its consent agenda, to approve the Ocoee Village Center as the site for the new Fire Station 38 in District 1.

The site is located on Clarcona Ocoee Road, east of State Road 429 at the intersection of Fullers Cross Road and N. Lakewood Avenue.

“I am very happy about this,” said District 1 Commissioner Scott Kennedy, addressing the site approval in his comments at the end of the regular commission meeting. Kennedy had urged the commission to allow city staff to start scouting locations for the new fire station at the May 16 commission meeting. A new building for Fire Station 38 is on his list of 50 things he plans to accomplish as commissioner. Constructing the fire station “is in my top five,” he said.

“I asked them to identify candidate sites, evaluating them to find the best place for a fire station in the north,” Kennedy told VoxPopuli after the meeting. “They looked at three or four sites, as I understand it. The consensus was that this was the best site. It has great response times to all the northern neighborhoods. The fire department likes it, everyone likes it.”

Ocoee Village Center is situated within a 2.5- to 3-minute response time within the Northwest Fire Service Area, according to the staff report that accompanied the site recommendation.

“We are all definitely excited about this,” Fire Chief Tom Smothers told VoxPopuli in an email. “This location is not only a great location for the District 1 currently, but will be an absolutely perfect location for the future growth in the District.”

Fire Station 38 has been without a permanent home for at least a decade. In 2013, it was located in a storefront at the Publix shopping center on West Road but lost its lease to a higher-paying tenant. Since 2019, Station 38's fire fighters have been housed in a double-wide trailer near the baseball fields in Vignetti Park off of Adair Road. 

Five million dollars in American Rescue Plan Act funds were already earmarked to purchase land and build the fire station. This location utilizes land already owned by the city, so Kennedy believes the project may end up costing less.

City Manager Robert Frank noted during the meeting that the development consortium, Ocoee Village Center Development Group, has agreed to provide another $400,000 for the fire station. “There was money that they were going have to contribute to the park, and we asked them to not do the park, and they committed that money to the fire station.” 

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