Gainesville council discusses new fire station; cancels some city elections

Mar. 8—Three of the four elections for the city of Gainesville have been cancelled.

The candidates for the municipal judge and the council members for ward five and ward six were declared unopposed at Tuesday evening's city council meeting. These positions are held by Judge Chris Cypert, Jeff Johnson and Mary Jo Dollar, respectively.

The remaining election is for the council member for Ward Three on the city's eastside. The position is currently held by Michael Hill who will be running against Howard "Randy" Jones.

This will not be an at large election, and only residents in Ward Three will be able to vote in this election. The election will be held on May 4.

Also at the meeting, information was provided about the plans for the new Fire Station Two. This station will be on Broadway Street toward the east side of Gainesville, between Wheeler Terrace and Pecan Tree.

"Eikon finally submitted the last of the renderings last week," said Fire Chief Wayne Twiner. "We'll probably be back at the April 16 meeting, and hopefully we'll have a contractor selected at that time for approval ... then we should be breaking ground in May. They're telling us a 12 to 14 month build, so it's probably going to be next summer."

The new Station Two will look very similar to the current Station Three at the corner of North Culberson Street and Bird Street, with a few ornamental features being removed.

Another concern in building the new fire station was preventing carcinogens from entering the living areas.

"Firefighters are more susceptible to the risk of cancer just due to the carcinogens; a lot of that's been attributed to diesel exhaust," said Twiner. "There will be vestibules prior to going into the living quarters on both ends ... The building is laid out where we have capture devices that connect to the exhaust."

The current Station two is located behind Tom Thumb and was built in the 1950's. This land has been sold to build a bigger Tom Thumb on that block.