Aledo Fire Department proposes building new station at Henderson's

Cathy Decker/Staff reporter
Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2010, the Aledo Fire Station turned into one of the 20 some polling places in Mercer County. The Aledo City Council learned last night of a proposal for the fire department to purchase the eastern half of the Henderson auto lot to build a new fire station.

A slew of appearances at Monday night's (Feb. 1, 2010) Aledo City Council gave the group of eight city fathers a lot to mull over. Jenny Garner, economic director for Mercer County, gave a presentation on housing needs in the County; John Harms, from National Public Gas Agency, talked to the council about natural gas purchase options; Pam Myers, reviewed Aledo Main Street's Farmers Market and Dennis Litwiler, talked to the council about building a new fire station at the old Henderson lot the city recently purchased.

By far the Aledo Fire Department's project was the biggest news.

Litwiler talked about his 32 year history with the fire department, eight of which has been as fire chief, and how fire fighting technology has changed over the years, especially the size of fire trucks.

The current fire station was built in the mid 1960s and, because of the size of today's fire equipment, the department has outgrown its building. When looking at expansion near the current station, Litwiler said the property owner "has no desire to sell the property."

He said they then started looking at the Henderson property. He talked about having meetings with the previous Mayor Jack Doherty about the matter.

The fire district would like to pursue the project that "stopped with the death of the mayor."

He told the council that timing is perfect for this project, as there are grants available for building new fire stations.

"We would like to continue being in the downtown."

He said he had also talked to the Hendersons. "Leo Henderson and his mom were supportive of this project," Litwiler said. He suggested the other half of the property could become a parking lot.

Alderman Robert Rillie asked, "What would become of the existing fire station?"

Litwiler said the fire district trustees had not made any plans.

For more on this story, see the Feb. 10, 2010 issue of The Times Record.