TUPELO • City leaders on Thursday morning conducted a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a new fire station at the corner of Clayton Avenue and Blair Street in the Gravlee neighborhood.
The spot will eventually become the new home of Fire Station No. 2. The current station is located on West Main Street, near Bishop’s BBQ and Danver’s, in one of Tupelo’s busiest areas during the day.
City leaders say the current station is also Tupelo's oldest and has fallen into disrepair.
“I’m very proud that we’re able to build this building without any tax increases, without adding to the debt and without taking from the municipal reserve in the city of Tupelo,” Mayor Jason Shelton said during the ceremony, Thursday. “We’ll soon have a wonderful new facility right here in this neighborhood.”
The beginning of construction on the project marks a breakthrough in a project that hit a major road bump late last year.
In November, the council voted to reject the first round of bids for the fire station’s construction because none were within budget, and all overshot the benchmark to negotiate. This was attributed to an increase in lumber and other building supplies, spurred in part by the pandemic.
But the Tupelo City Council last month unanimously voted to award roughly $1.8 million to Hooker Construction in Thaxton to construct the new station. The project will be funded through part of a $10 million package of bonded debt the city agreed to take on early last year.
“I’m happy to see this fire station develop into something that’s going to beautify the community,” Ward 4 Councilwoman Nettie Davis said at the event.