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City council plans to invest $1 million in fire stations
Senior Staff Writer
On Monday, the City Council agreed to issue $1 million this year to purchase land and design services as the first step in the renovation of three of the city’s seven fire stations.
Stations No. 2, 3 and 4 will undergo construction to modernize and improve the current buildings, Brad Lahart, Denton Fire Department battalion chief, said.
“The fire department is very excited about doing these projects,” Lahart said. “The stations have outlived their useful life.”
Mayor Mark Burroughs said the council’s vote to move forward with the project initiated the public process that will next be taken to a citizen’s vote on expenditures.
“There are two ways to obtain the money. Grants come from the federal government from time to time,” Burroughs said. “Other than that, it’s you and me and anyone who pays taxes, and the city will allocate funding as part of the city’s budget.”
Burroughs said he was taken on a tour of older and newer fire stations to see the contrast in facilities.
“It really gave us a message that in those older fire stations, a lot needs to be improved,” Burroughs said.
The garages will be expanded, as the size of fire engines has increased since the stations were first built, Lahart said.
The renovations will also focus on making the living space more comfortable for firefighters, creating privacy in sleeping areas and adding bathrooms and showers, Lahart said.
The stations up for reconstruction are currently designed for single sexes. Burroughs and Lahart said that an emphasis will be placed on better accommodating female firefighters.
Burroughs said construction will begin a year to 18 months from now, depending on the vote of the people. He said the entire project will take two to three years to complete.
During the construction, Burroughs said firefighters will have to operate out of other stations or nearby facilities at times.
Since the majority of the work will be add-ons, Burroughs said firefighters will continue using their existing spaces when able, and will not face a large amount of inconveniences or lose significant time responding to calls.
Station No. 7, which is 5 years old, is the most updated and will be used as a prototype for the other stations, Lahart said.