New Va. firehouse could remain empty until 2015

Firehouse 42 stands near a busy intersection at Route 7 and Beulah Road in Fairfax County. (WTOP/Hank Silverberg)

Hank Silverberg, wtop.com

TYSONS, Va. – A new $11 million firehouse, almost ready for fire trucks and firefighters, may not open for business until 2015.

Firehouse 42 stands near a busy intersection at Route 7 and Beulah Road in Fairfax County. Across the street is a new housing development with large luxury homes that are still being finished.

It is only a few miles from the new Spring Hill Metro Station on the new Silver Line that is scheduled to open later this year.

But the $4.2 million needed to staff and operate the firehouse is not included in the current $3.57 billion county budget proposal.

The firehouse was built to help protect an area that will be growing substantially once the Silver Line begins operation.

Some residents at the local post office were surprised to hear that the firehouse will stay empty for more than a year.

Leroy Baxter says he’s been impressed with local redevelopment planning for Tyson’s until now.

“In this case, it might have been more productive to plan it and let it sit for a while, and then move it in at the right time,” he says.

Julie Murphy says it made sense to build the fire house, but she’s concerned about its operation timeline.

“They should make sure that those who are developing this area pay the requisite fees to support fire safety,” she says.

Sean Murphy, who is not related to Julie, says the lack of money to pay for operating the firehouse can be attributed to the people who complain about tax increases.

“If your not gonna pay money in, your can’t get basic services,” he says.

The county executive Edward Long has indicated the firehouse, which will be called the Wolftrap Fire Station 42, can be staffed by 2015.

There are three other existing firehouses serving the area right now.

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