City considering Highway 11 fire station

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Pelham officials are looking at possibly moving one of the city’s fire stations closer to the Pelham-Chelsea line, Mayor Don Murphy said a week after the city passed its 2012 budget.

The projects were among several listed in the city’s 2012 budget, which includes a total of more than $5.7 million in proposed capital improvements. A few large-dollar expenses, such as installing new high-pressure water lines along Shelby County 11, will be funded using money left over from last year, according to the budget.

Although listed as “unfunded” on the general fund capital expenditure budget, the document listed a land purchase for a new Pelham Fire Department station on Shelby County 11 near the city’s eastern limits.

“We are looking for some land for a new fire station right now, and have been for a while,” said Pelham Mayor Don Murphy, noting the station likely would need about 1 or 2 acres.

Because the price of the new station would depend heavily on the price of the land, Murphy said he could not estimate the total price of the project.

If the city builds a new fire station on Shelby County 11, it will house firefighters from am already-existing station, Murphy said.

“We will just move one of our stations out there. We won’t create a new station for Highway 11,” Murphy said, noting several of the city’s current stations are “close together.”

Because some of Pelham’s large neighborhoods, including the Oaklyn Hills subdivision, are several miles from the nearest Pelham fire station, Murphy said the new station could cut down on emergency response time along Shelby County 11.

“We have an agreement with the Chelsea Fire Department, so we route the closest station to a call. Whether it’s us or Chelsea, we send who is closest,” Murphy said. “But the response time isn’t exactly what I would want it to be in some of the areas out there.”

Elsewhere in the city’s budget, Pelham officials projected about $27.3 million in general fund revenues, which is up a little more than $200 from last year’s projections. In August, the city had already slightly exceeded the fiscal year 2011 revenue projections.

The city’s 2012 general fund expenditures match the general fund revenues.

The city transferred a little less than $1 million from the general fund to the Pelham Civic Complex budget, and transferred $552,264 from the general fund to the Pelham Racquet Club to balance the two facilities’ budgets.

The city also transferred $580,316 from the general fund to balance the Ballantrae Golf Club’s budget.