The Norman Transcript

Opinion

July 16, 2013

Better protection ahead

NORMAN — East Norman’s long wait for better fire protection will be over soon. City officials are prepared to open Station No. 9, one of two stations paid for with the city’s Public Safety Sales Tax dollars. The station at 3001 E Alameda St. should open by the end of the month.

Fire Station No. 9 is similar to Station No. 8 on 36th Avenue northwest, north of Tecumseh Road. Both stations were built under LEED standards, meaning they were designed with the environment and low-energy use in mind. Station No. 8 opened in 2011.

The $3.8 million contract was awarded in 2012 and construction began in August. The station opening was supposed to take place this spring, but construction delays caused by the weather pushed it to June and then July. It’ll open just in time to face down wildfires that will undoubtedly come later this year.

Norman firefighters, along with those from surrounding cities and towns and volunteer fire departments, were taxed this past summer as scorching days and high winds fueled wildfires in eastern Cleveland County.

Voters approved the seven-year, half-cent sales tax in 2008. Besides the two fire stations, the tax is paying for 41 new police officer positions and up to 30 firefighters to staff the stations.

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