JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Construction on a new fire station in Jefferson City could start as early as June.
On Monday night, City Council heard a bill that would authorize Prost Builders of Jefferson City to build the $2.2 million station.
The new station would be a significant upgrade from the current facility and interim fire chief Jason Turn said the new location could help save lives.
As the city has expanded westward, the fire department's coverage was getting thinner. Turner said the new station is exactly what the city needs to decrease response times on the west side.
"Our call load actually shows a hole and that we have a slower response toward the west of Station 3," said Turner.
The current station on Industrial Drive was built in 1967, when fire trucks were nearly half the size of today's trucks.
However, this time next year, firefighters will be moving into a new station off Highway 179, just north of Truman Boulevard. There will be several upgrades including three and a half bays for fire engines and several new bedrooms.
The station will be built on five acres and according to construction plans, it will have both a front and rear driveway so trucks will not have to block traffic or back into the station when returning.
"Currently, none of our facilities have facilities for females," said Turner. "Now that we have two females in our organization, we'll be accommodating them with separate bedrooms throughout the station."
Officials hope the new station will have a lifespan of nearly 80 years. It will also be strengthened to withstand severe weather and be prepared for the worst.
"There are two locations inside this building that will have the hardening and will have an attachment that will serve as the city's backup 911 center," Turner said.
The City Council is expected to give the final approval in two weeks.
The $2.2 million price tag will come from a voter-approved half-cent sales tax.