Cutbacks of Fire Station 2 Could Hurt Business in The Whiteaker Neighborhood
By Ryan Broadhead
Within the last few months the Whiteaker neighborhood in Eugene, Ore. has seen an increase in business expansion. The New Day Bakery has expanded in the form of a Saturday Market. Ninkasi Brewing Co., Oakishire Brewing Co., and Hop Valley Brewing Co., all have announced plans to expand as well. The increase in business within the neighborhood serves a purpose; to promote and draw customers into the area.
An increase in growth also means an increasing probability for neighborhood services such as Fire Station 2 to be summoned.
Located at 1725 West 2nd Avenue, Fire Station provides a service to the Whiteaker neighborhood, River Road region, and Santa Clara.
The problem is Fire Station 2 has been on the Eugene city council’s chopping block for the past 2 years.
Although Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy said in an interview that, “The city decided to maintain both fire engines for the year,” the potential cutbacks loom large moving into the future.
Soren James, a grocery clerk at the Red Barn Natural Grocery for the past 11 years said, “Maybe something is going to happen and if it does we absolutely need the fire department here right away. It’s the same for other businesses. It affects the whole community.”
The cutbacks discussed at Fire Station 2 included a closure of one of the companies. Either the truck company, responsible for providing equipment to firefighters during emergencies, or the engine company, which handles the hydrant hook ups, would see a cutback of three firefighters.
This could have a drastic effect on business due to the fact that in emergencies, there would be a 50-50 chance of having the one remaining crew out on call.
It’s a gamble.