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Leduc residents concerned over location of proposed fire hall

EDMONTON – A Leduc woman says she’s worried she and her husband may have to move after learning the City plans to build a fire hall right next to their home.

“Our main concern is that they’re putting a fire hall right directly behind our fence and that no one has actually made the public aware of it,” Kelly Smith explained Sunday afternoon.

The new fire hall is part of Leduc’s West Area Structure Plan and will be built on soon-to-be annexed land in the city’s west end, near Highway 39. Smith has a number of concerns with the proposed station, including location, noise and a diminished property value.

“We were expecting to hear sirens constantly,” Smith explained. “It’s quite a large station they’re putting in and there’s no plans to put in a sound wall or barrier of any kind to help prevent the noise.

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“It’s going to be hard to sell with a fire station on the other side of the fence. So really, it’s had a very negative impact on our home,” she added.

When Smith and her husband moved into the home six years ago she knew the land would eventually be developed.

“The bad thing was, that we weren’t expecting it to be this soon, nor were we expecting a fire station,” she added. “It is really, really a quiet area; part of the reason that we moved here.”

Another concern for Smith is the fact that residents didn’t receive draft development maps until last week. She says the map didn’t include the location of the fire hall, she only learned of that after inquiring about it on her own.

“We don’t feel that it’s been a very fair plan that’s been made. They didn’t consult with anyone here about it,” she explained.

The City says it has provided residents a number of opportunities to have their say on the development, both at open houses and at city council meetings. And with a growing population, Leduc needs a second fire hall.

“There’s been numerous studies undertaken to determine where is the best location for a second fire hall in Leduc. And the west, newly-annexed land was deemed to be the most appropriate place,” said Alderman Glen Finstad.

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“The way that the fire hall is going to be located on that quarter section, on that specific parcel, was done to minimize the affect on residents from a noise perspective,” he explained. “When you look at the greater good of the community as a whole, this is the right location.”

“We understand that they need a fire station and that the service is required due to the immense growth they’ve had on this end of town. And we’re not against the fire station, we’re just against the location of it,” Smith added.

Still, she says she’s going to do everything she can to fight it or she and her husband will be moving.

“Not happily,” she added. “It’s very upsetting. This is our home.”

Leduc City Council is waiting on final approval and development permits for the project. The City hopes, if approved, construction on the new fire hall will begin in the spring.

Residents have until Nov. 22 to voice their concerns to the City.

With files from Cheryl Oates, Global News.

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