LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Little Rock is well on its way to completing Fire Station 23, the newest addition to the Little Rock Fire Department since 1992.
The new station at the corner of Rahling and Taylor Loop is set to open in November but not without a few concerns from nearby residents.
Fire Chief Gregory Summers says federal grants along with Little Rock's new sales tax finally gave them enough funds to build the new station and hire 36 new fire fighters. While fire protection is a benefit, the station's neighbors say they are seeing a few negative side effects.
"23 will be the number but it will actually be our 21st fire station. We've owned this land since 1998," says Little Rock Fire Chief Gregory Summers.
But where Fire Station 23 is coming, at the corner of Rahling Road and Taylor Loop, came as a surprise to it's neighbors.
"We've been here about 20 years and we didn't really have any idea that this would ever happen," says Franchelle Owen, a resident of Wesley Drive.
Fire Station 23 is going in just yards from her backyard and says after breaking ground in April, the city has changed her landscaping dramatically.
"They started cutting the trees at the other end and came all the way down. They took about a fourth of my garden spot here," says Owen.
Owen says when Fire Station 23 becomes fully operational his fall, she fears noise pollution will become a problem for her and her neighbors.
"I know it will be loud when they take off," says Owen.
Fire Chief Gregory Summers says they will make repairs after construction is completed.
"We definitely want to be good stewards and good neighbors and we're going to work with them anyway that we possibly can," says Chief Summers. "With this fire station being here, we'll be able to decrease our response times. The quicker we get there, the quicker we can provide some type of help for you so I think it's a huge benefit in that regard."
Currently, Little Rock's newest fire station built in 1992 at 17000 Chenal Valley Road responds to the Taylor Loop area with a response time between 3-6 minutes. Chief Summers says with Fire Station 23, that time could be cut to under 4 minutes which could save homes and lives.
It is a benefit Owen says she is thankful for and will learn to live with the side effects.
"It's actually good to have a fire station. We've got to have them so anyway, we'll just get use to the noise I'm sure," says Owen.
Chief Summers says the new station will have outside speakers that will be turned off at night time so fire fighters inside can hear the alarm but not disturb nearby residents. However, by law, fire engines must run lights and sirens when heading to a call.
$800,000 from Little Rock's new sales tax will go to help fund the construction of Fire Station 23.