Roswell considers fire station at Big Creek Park

Roswell may build a new fire station at Big Creek Park, a 159-acre woodland area laced with mountain-bike and walking trails.

According to plans the city released this week, the station could be built on three acres in the southeast corner of the park on Old Alabama Road. The station would serve heavily populated east Roswell.

Residents will have a chance to comment on the Big Creek Park plan during a public meeting at 7 p.m. Nov. 30 at East Roswell Park.

Roswell is considering other sites, including the Terramont subdivision on Holcomb Bridge Road.

One group already against a Big Creek Park station is the Roswell Alpharetta Mountain Bike Organization, which has spent hours riding and maintaining 4.9 miles of biking trails at the park.

“We don’t think that’s necessarily the best place for the fire department and we’ll voice our concerns about that,” said Brad Wender, president of RAMBO. “But it’s certainly their property and we have to remember that."

Roswell Parks and Recreation Director Joe Glover said Tuesday the city recreation commission also opposes the fire station plan, though that group has not taken a formal vote. The commission is appointed by the mayor to set policy for the park system.

Big Creek Park was mentioned recently as a likely place to build a competitive swimming center -- an idea RAMBO also opposes. Long-range plans call for construction of a swimming center at the park, though lack of money means that probably won't happen any time soon.

Roswell has seven fire stations. It needs a new building to replace Fire Station No. 4 on Holcomb Bridge Road, which is old, small and infested with termites.

The city drew up the Big Creek Park plans after Terramont subdivision residents complained about Roswell’s first choice: city-owned land surrounded on three sides by the subdivision and on the fourth side by Holcomb Bridge Road.

The estimated cost of a station on the Terramont tract was $2 million to $2.5 million. No cost estimate has been released for the Big Creek Park site.

The Terramont land used to be a city park and is still used for recreation by subdivision residents. Some residents complained about potential noise and disturbance.

The Big Creek Park tract is also close to a residential neighborhood. The station entrance would be about 600 feet west of Crabtree Drive.

Roswell hopes to save money by building on land the city already owns.