When the City Council approved a $9.2 million bond for a new fire station in the Point of Pines at the July 29 meeting, the people in the audience joined Council members for a standing ovation.
Ward 5 Council John Powers appreciated the spontaneous applause, having worked hard to advance a proposal for a new Alden Mills Fire Station to replace the 75-year-old facility that had been closed for several years.
â€œIt was a priority from the first day I got elected,â€ said Powers. â€œAnd this fire station wonâ€™t just service the Point of Pines. It will service the Revere Beach Boulevard, Oak Island, and the lower Revere Street area, as well as the entire city when necessary.â€
Powers said with the major flooding that has hit the Point of Pines in recent years and has at times simultaneously closed North Shore Road and Revere Beach Boulevard, it became even more apparent to him that Point of Point residents needed a new fire station.
â€œEngine 5 [on North Shore] which is the other engine in Ward 5, is the second busiest engine in the city and a result of that, the Point of Pines and Lower Revere Street is dependent on engines coming from as far away as the Parkway or Broadway and even mutual aid,â€ he said. â€œWe all know that in a medical emergency the first five minutes are crucial.â€
Powers said there are â€œso many more vehicles in the city as a result of the increase in population, there are more traffic accidents, and more medical emergencies and the Fire Department does an excellent job in servicing the city.
â€œThis new engine [in the Point of Pines station] is crucial at this point in the cityâ€™s history for providing adequate public safety,â€ said Powers. â€œAnd I think the most important thing that a city can provide to its citizens is public safety.â€
Powers credited Mayor Brian Arrigo for his support of the new fire station and getting the plans before the Council.
â€œThree years ago I had a conversation with Mayor Brian Arrigo and he at that point understood the need for that station,â€ said Powers. â€œAs a result of that, the mayor sent a proposal to the Council for a bond authorization. We couldnâ€™t have done this without Mayor Arrigoâ€™s leadership. Iâ€™m also appreciative of the fact that the entire City Council recognized the immediate need for that facility.â€
Powers said that in addition to the new station being capable of housing an engine, a ladder truck, and a water rescue boat, the station will have a community room for public meetings and serve as a polling place on election days.
â€œMy hope is that weâ€™ll be having a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new station in two years,â€ said Powers.
Reflecting on the rare standing ovation that occurred following the unanimous vote for the new station, Powers said, â€œI was filled with gratitude. I want to publicly thank Mayor Arrigo and the Council for its 11-0 vote. I also want to thank Fire Chief Christopher Bright for his strong support and for traveling with me to other communities to see other new facilities. Iâ€™m very happy the councillors saw the need and that Mayor Arrigo submitted the bond authorization to make it happen.â€
Powers said when he first ran for office years ago, his uncle [who was a Point of Pines resident] asked him, â€˜What can you do about the fire station down here?â€™
â€œMy answer to my uncle was that I would do everything I can to get that fire station opened,â€ recalled Powers.
And now Councillor John Powersâ€™ persistency has paid off and come 2021, there will be a brand new, state-of-the-art Alden Mills Fire Station standing tall in the Pines.