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No more patching of city lot

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By Johnathan Ryan

For those who might be wondering, the mess at the Lancaster Fire Department is a sign of progress being made, not mayhem.

The Lancaster Fire Department's station on Arch Street may appear dysfunctional, with only dirt and scaffolding in place of where pavement once was for trucks to drive over when headed to a call.

But the current look is part of a $150,000 project that calls for a new parking lot and retaining wall that the city of Lancaster allocated in its 2007-08 budget.

It's long overdue, said Lancaster Fire Chief Chris Nunnery.

"Every year it seems like we've been doing patching (in the parking lot), but now we've decided just to do it all," he said.

The old pavement was designed for truck weights found in the 1970s, Nunnery said.

The new concrete surface will be stronger and will cover the entire parking lot area. The parking lot will also be 24 feet wider. Because it will be bigger, trucks will no longer have to waste time maneuvering in a small parking lot to get in and out.

An embankment between the station and the police department was graded and a retaining wall – about half the size of a football field – was erected to expand the lot.

Nunnery said the city is saving money by doing the project itself.

A good bit of the city's fire equipment and personnel is temporarily being stationed at Station 2 on Hubbard Drive while the work is in progress.

Nunnery said the department's ability to fight fires on the south side of the city isn't compromised by the move, since an engine truck is still there, with travel distances for other trucks remaining the same.

The project should be complete by mid-June.

Contact reporter Johnathan Ryan jryan@thelancasternews.com at (803) 416-8416.