Lebanon considers new fire station locations; West Lebanon neighbors raise concerns

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 4:44 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Aging fire stations in Lebanon have the city looking for new sites, but one proposed location has not been well received by some neighbors.

“Our community has grown significantly,” said Lebanon Fire Chief Chris Christopoulos.

Lebanon’s two fire stations -- the one off the green and the one in West Lebanon -- are more than five decades old. A facilities study in 2019 found that both needed to be larger, mostly for the safety of the firefighters who work there. “If we come back from a call or building fire, and everyone’s protective clothing is dirty, and the hose is dirty -- right now we are co-mingling that with living here,” Christopoulos said.

A former church property in a West Lebanon neighborhood has been identified as a possible site to replace one of the firehouses at a cost of $6.4 million. But some neighbors, while acknowledging the need for new stations, say they have concerns. “We are very in support of that, but we believe it should be located on a Main Street rather than a residential street,” said Leslie Achmoody, who lives across the street from the proposed location.

She says she’s concerned about the 3 to 4 average daily calls the station would get and the fire trucks buzzing by her front door. “This road is very narrow, there is a lot of library traffic and busses already travel down this street,” Achmoody said.

There are other concerns as well that she voiced at a public meeting this week. “Noise is a concern, however, our property values are also a big concern,” she said.

The chief says his department wants to be a good neighbor and that the city is exploring other locations, but no final site has been chosen. “I think some of their concerns -- we can build engineering controls in the design; landscaping features; drive-through fire station, so you don’t have backup alarms going off,” Christopoulos said.

There will be another public meeting on August 2nd at the fire station in West Lebanon. The City Council plans to address the issue a couple of weeks later.

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