Spectators in the nearly full Monticello City Council chambers erupted in applause Thursday night when the city council on a 5-3 vote selected the former W.C. Whaley property on North Main Street as the location for a new central fire station.
Aldermen Sherrie Gillespie, Raymond Hubbard, Al Peer, Beverly Hudson and Tim Chase approved Peer’s motion to build s new station on the Whaley site. Aldermen Josh McKiever, Carolyn Brown and Claudia Hartness cast the dissenting votes.
The vote came after more than a decade of research and discussion about where to build the station.
In casting his vote, Hubbard said the city purchased the Whaley property from the Monticello School District years ago for that purpose.
Alderwoman Carolyn Brown seemed concerned that the fire station would be a metal building, even though she said she had seen the preliminary drawings. The preliminary drawings show a brick building.
The property is located in a historic district.
Prior to the vote, the council viewed charts and graphs that indicated, based on ISO criteria, the W.C. Whaley property is the best site.
The city, which has a Level 5 ISO rating, is working to reduce that rating to a 4 in order to reduce property insurance premiums for its residents.