Two options have been developed for the replacement of the Karuah Rural Fire Service station in 2018-19.
With old Wattle Street site deemed unsuitable Port Stephens Council has developed options for Tarean Road and Engel Avenue.
The community has been asked to give its feedback on its preferred location.
"The Karuah Rural Fire Service provides an essential community service, and we want to make sure that the new station is built in the best place to assist the community during a variety of emergency incidents, including bushfires," the council's emergency management coordinator Cameron Donaldson said.
He said the existing site was unsuitable due to infrastructure and engineering factors.
"Instead, we have two options currently on the table – the first is on Tarean Road near Lionel Morten Oval, while the second is on Engel Avenue near Bundabah Road. We're seeking feedback from the community on which option they prefer,” he said.
Lionel Morton Oval benefits:
- Direct access to the Karuah township and the Pacific Highway
- Good staging area for extra emergency services including helicopter
- Additional car spaces at the park for volunteers when required
- Access to oval amenities during emergencies
- Possible use of oval for training
Engel Avenue benefits:
- Central to the Karuah township
- Near parkland suitable for staging area for additional emergency services
- No impediment from groups regularly using the adjoining land that may restrict access
- Less restrictions on size and footprint of facility compared to Lionel Morton Oval
- Unlike Lionel Morton Oval this option does not affect the parking of users of the sportsground
- Potentially lower site costs than Lionel Morton Oval
RFS volunteers who use the old shed have been vocal in their despair at the old shed.
Port Stephens Council will oversee the construction of the new facility.
"The new facility is scheduled for construction in the 2018-2019 financial year and is presently in the pre-design phase, but before we progress, we need to identify a suitable location and lock in funding," Mr Donaldson said.
"Once complete, this new fire station will provide the Rural Fire Service and it volunteers with a modern facility that will ensure they can deliver effective services to the local community," he added.
To have your say on the location of the new Karuah Fire Station, visit http://haveyoursay.portstephens.nsw.gov.au/karuah-fire-station and vote before Monday, January 8, 2018.