McMenamin Says County Board Ignores Fire Station Pleas

ARLINGTON, VA. –“The Democratic controlled County Board is not listening to my Arlington neighbors who have been ignored in deciding the future of Fire Station No. 8. They should be answering the questions instead of charging forward to spend money on projects that have not been justified,” said Independent County Board candidate Mike McMenamin.

The current Fire Station No. 8 opened in 1963 and holds the historical distinction as being the first African-American fire company south of the Mason-Dixon line. Yet, the station, located at 4845 Lee Hwy, Arlington, VA 22207, is in need of repair.

The county has been studying the possible relocation of Fire Station No. 8 since 1999, in order to seek better EMS response times. The proposed plan is to move the station to Dominion Green next to Marymount University, six-tenths of a mile from its current location. The total cost of the new station is approximately $13 million and will come from a future bonding referendum.

In the early summer, the communities were blindsided when the County announced the station’s move to the Dominion Green site. The process for relocating the Fire Station No. 8 has been accelerated for unknown reasons with the neighborhoods left questioning the County’s sincerity in listening to their opinions.

“The county once again sought community input at the back-end of a project, rather than at the beginning and throughout the process. This is just wrong!” McMenamin said.

“I agree with my neighbors that a task force should be established to review the Fire Station No. 8 location, as was done in my neighborhood with the Cherrydale station,” McMenamin said.

He proposes an alternative of “rebuilding Fire Station No. 8 on its current site to preserve its historical significance and placing a substation in the northern part of the County to further decrease the response times for emergency medical calls.”

McMenamin is the former President of the Arlington County Civic Federation, a past member of the Arlington County Fiscal Affairs Advisory Committee, and former President of the Maywood Community Association.