Almost 6 years after the people of College Station voted to build a new fire station, officials expect Fire Station 6 on University Blvd to be up and running by the end of the year.
Construction on Fire Station 6 is expected to be complete in October. Fire officials hope the new facility will be operational in November.
“We're turning it into a reality to make sure our city is safe. That's the positive thing about it. We've got new people in place. New station in place to help protect our city,” said College Station Fire Chief R.B. Alley.
Even though the City of College Station will eliminate 10 positions in the 2013 fiscal year, 18 firefighters have been hired from around the country to staff the new fire.
Over the past several years, the City of College Station has eliminated 54 positions from its budget.
The city has added 43 positions to the police and fire departments in the same period of time, according to College Station Public Information Officer Jay Socol.
“It’s been a shift in priorities and a shift of resources going to public safety. That is where we felt the need has been,” said Socol.
College Station residents said public safety is also their top priority in a Citizen Survey that was presented to the City Council earlier this month.
Public safety and faster response times is one of the main reason fire officials chose the location on University for Fire Station 6. The new fire station will be the primary response for the A&M campus.
“Depending on where it is on University Drive, if it’s close by the station. Instead of 7 minutes it might be 30 seconds or a minute, so it will greatly improve our response time,” said Fire Chief Alley.
In the proposed 2013 budget, public safety will take up some 47 percent of the general fund.