Endangered salamander may put fire station on hold
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Plans for a future fire station in west Round Rock are in limbo, all because of potentially endangered salamanders in the area.
City officials say they're waiting for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to issue a decision, which might not come until next August.
The area is exploding with new housing developments, and a planned road extension would put the new fire station in a prime spot.
However, the location is also near some springs that feed into Brushy Creek and are thought to be habitat for the endangered Jollyville salamander.
Round Rock council members are concerned that if the salamander habitat gets federal protection, the new fire station plan might need costly modifications to reduce environmental impacts.
City leaders have spent about $7,000 to keep their options open until the salamander decision is final.
"If it turns out we can build a station on that site, great. If we can't at least we did what we could," Round Rock Communications Director Will Hampton said.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is expected to release an economic impact study of the salamander listing early next year, ahead of its August ruling.