The Tuscaloosa Fire Rescue Service has vacated Station No. 6 on Loop Road near the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center ahead of building a permanent replacement for the building, city officials confirmed Thursday morning.

Richard Rush, the city's director of communications, confirmed to the Tuscaloosa Thread that the city has long planned to replace Fire Station No. 6, but said this year's unrelenting heavy rains have created roof leaks and other structural issues within the building that would require tens of thousands of dollars to repair.

Since the city was already planning to build a new Fire Station No. 6, it made no sense to spend taxpayer dollars repairing a facility that will soon be replaced.

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"The safest and most cost-effective plan was to relocate assets," Rush said.

He said the city has been identifying potential sites for the new fire station, including a potential relocation onto the nearby VA campus and that Mayor Walt Maddox will include plans for the future of the facility in the budget proposals he will present to the City Council on August 27th.

Holly Whigham, a spokeswoman for Tuscaloosa Fire Rescue, said Station No. 6 generally housed three to four firefighters during any given shift. The crews and assets housed there have been relocated to other stations.

Whigham said the crews that manned Station No. 6 have moved around two miles away, and TFR does not anticipate a significant decrease in response time to the areas the station serviced.

She said the city is working to identify an architect to design the new station, and although its replacement is a high priority for Maddox and the department, she said it will be at least a year to 18 months before a relocated Station No. 6 is operational.

Stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread for updates on this situation as they become available.

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