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Lafferty: County Should Find Alternate Site for New Fire Station

County officials are reportedly considering constructing a new fire station at Towson Manor Park.

Editor's Note: The following is a letter from Del. Steve Lafferty, who represents Towson, regarding the proposed construction of a fire station at Towson Manor Park. Community members have expressed outrage over building the station on top of one of Towson's few open spaces. County officials have declined to comment on the project.

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County Executive Kevin Kamenetz has proposed to sell the Towson Fire Station located at York Road and Bosley Avenue in order to raise money. He has stated that these funds would be used to build a new fire station and to help fund air conditioning at Dumbarton Middle School.  

I applaud the County Executive for finding creative ways to fund projects. And, yes, Dumbarton badly needs air conditioning and the fire station is very old and needs replacing. However, the cost to the community is too great because part of his solution is to build a new fire station on park land!  

Yes, that is right. The County Executive proposes to build a new fire station on the community park on Towsontown Boulevard that abuts and serves Towson Manor Village and is across the street from the historic East Towson neighborhood. This is one of the few parks in Towson. It is used by residents and for a range of community activities. It is an asset for these neighborhoods, for the new residents of Towson Greens and for the Towson community.

I asked the County Executive to reconsider his decision or, at least, delay his plans, for selling the station. He has indicated he plans to go ahead with the sale and relocating the station to the park while he looks at alternatives. I strongly recommend that, if he is intent on selling at this time, his best alternative is the underutilized gravel parking lot on Chesapeake and Bosley and not the park.

No proposal for sale should go forward until an alternative location is found. And, no park land should be taken to build a fire station in Towson.

 

Further Reading:

County Executive Reportedly Eyeing Alternate Locations for New Firehouse

Firehouse For Air Conditioning Deal Burns Some


Fire Kevin Kamenetz December 10, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Agreed 100%, there are more viable options for the county executive to use, he just refuses to do so.
Raymond Saunders December 10, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Thank you Steve! Couldn't agree more. If you would like to express your thoughts on the matter, please contact: Executive Kevin Kamenetz kevin@baltimorecountymd.gov 410-887-2450 Councilman David Marks dmarks@baltimorecountymd.gov410-887-3384
Old Terp December 10, 2012 at 09:17 PM
Where will the salt barn go? Why is the county executive so anxious to sell the old fire station parcel? What's the rush? What type of development is so vital along that area of York that already has so many languishing properties and ugly new high-density housing?
Roger December 10, 2012 at 09:20 PM
Rule 1: it's always about the money. Our new county executive was heavily funded by developers. He then directed his staff to identify which of our precious county owned lands would better serve intensive private development. He says the sale at fair market value is needed to reduce our tax burden. It's for our own good. I think the Towson station is perfectly located and there is enough space for all the equipment they need. Plenty of urban fire stations have more equipment and respond to more calls than this station is projected to have on less land. Of course those are built for function and don't have meeting halls, parking lots, big fancy dorms, offices, weight rooms and kitchens. Maybe our executive could consider an austere urban design for a huge highly functional tech modern facility on this prime location that would serve us well for generations. Or is the fix in and the rush will be to sell off as much prime county real estate before the next election? When it doesn't seem right see rule #1. Stop them from selling our valuable land. Lafferty just doesn't get it. He panders to a neighborhood outcry and still supports selling our land. Shame on them all. Better yet, shine the light of a free press on them all and vote more wisely next time.
I LOVE Towson December 10, 2012 at 09:37 PM
Yes, Thanks, Steve. It is absurd that Mr. Kamenentz would think it a good idea to a) build a fire station on a neighborhood park. 2) Build a (BUSY) Fire Department in an inconvenient RESIDENTIAL area --this spot would not be quick easy access for fire equipment. 3) Risk selling the 100 + (high End) residential units that are being developed at Towson Green -- these prospective buyers are goimng to think twice before they invest in a residential community that has lost its park in turn for a LOUD fire station. Not GREAT for the future success of of a vibrant walkable Towson.
Kristen December 10, 2012 at 09:41 PM
Kevin Kamenetz is not "creative." He is extremely short-sighted. He is intent upon raising immediate funds by bulldozing a playground, with no consideration of the long-term ramifications. Shame on him. Also, it is important to understand that he has offered no guarantee that air conditioning at Dumbarton MS will be funded as a result of this deal.
Raymond Saunders December 10, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Other steps you can take against this: - Like the Save Towson Manor Park facebook page - Sign the online petition there!
JustSayIn December 11, 2012 at 01:30 AM
Maybe TU can give up a small parcel across Versailles Apts @ Towsontowne Blvd and Emerson Dr its a perfect location.
M. Sullivan December 11, 2012 at 01:43 PM
There is no good reason for this action other than KK appeasing his developer buddies by promoting ever more development in an already congested location. I personally don't care about the park or "historic" East Towson but, the proposed location doesn't have nearly as easy access to the main thoroughfares as the existing one and not as much room for the other County facilities such as the salt dome. It will be interesting to see the money trail back to KK when this is all completed.
Emily December 11, 2012 at 02:58 PM
The county mentioned there will be a new parking garage, what about a multi-use facility? There could be a fire station on the ground floor with parking in the upper levels with the entrance on the opposite side of the fire station. Let's get some more creative solutions out there, and save the park!
Raymond Saunders December 11, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Yes! let's have some creativity that doesn't involve eliminating a park!
Judy Ford December 12, 2012 at 02:06 AM
I live in Towson Manor Village, I don't want a noisy fire station so close to where I live. It should stay as it is, so the kids have a place to play. I lived here when I was a kid, the park wasn't there then. I would have loved it, we didn't have place to play. It's important that it stays there.
Nicole K. December 14, 2012 at 08:30 AM
Thank you, Delegate, and also to Senator Brochin, as both of you have been vocal on this issue. Where are our other elected officials?? This park is not the best place for a fire station and should be saved. While the County Executive says the park will be replaced with a new one, where would that be? Would Towson Manor residents be able to walk to it and enjoy it as much? I'm doubtful. Thanks to those who are working to SAVE the PARK!
Kamenetz Is Doing A Great Job December 18, 2012 at 01:45 PM
Gee, you said last May that this park is crime infested! Fire Kevin Kamenetz 2:07 pm on Monday, May 7, 2012 I am starting to think that the police need to station someone at the TMV park every night. We have heard "rumors" of drug dealing and now an attempted rape. How many more crimes happen there each day unnoticed?

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