By Angie Francalancia
Any efforts at moving Boynton Beach’s downtown fire station to Ocean Ridge are “on hold” and may remain so for perhaps months as Boynton Beach continues to try to sell three parcels of property that affect the city’s space needs.
The Boynton Beach City Commission rejected the single bid it got on one of the three parcels and agreed to change the city’s rules for sale of disposable property so it can enlist a real estate broker rather than use only a bid process.
Boynton Beach Fire Chief Ray Carter said the decision means “we’re basically on hold” regarding any moves for Station #1, the primary station for calls from Ocean Ridge.
The move had been discussed late last year as a solution to finding space for Boynton Beach’s cramped police department. And it would insure that the coastal towns that contract with Boynton Beach for fire rescue service retain a fire station able to provide a quick response.
For Boynton, the move was prompted by the possible sale of one of the parcels — a half-acre property now being used as storage for the police department, Carter said.
Boynton city officials also had been eyeing Station #1 located adjacent to police headquarters in the municipal complex for an enlarged police evidence room, and during budget talks last year, discussed closing the station at Boynton Beach and Seacrest boulevards. That move would have extended response times to parts of Ocean Ridge and Briny Breezes, which contract for fire-rescue services with Boynton Beach.
At the same time the Boynton Commission agreed to try to sell its properties, it agreed to begin discussions with Ocean Ridge to house Station #1 at Ocean Ridge’s Town Hall. Ocean Ridge had sent schematics of its Town Hall building and garage to Carter for analysis.
But that’s where efforts to move Station #1 into Ocean Ridge stalled.
“It’s going to be a lengthy process, if it happens at all,” Carter said. “If we move to Ocean Ridge, their facility needs to be suitable, and it’s not now.”