LOVES PARK (WREX) – It’s become a tight fit for firefighters at station 2, since the Loves Park Fire Department hired its first full-time first responders six months ago.
“That’s where all the firefighters are housed for the 24 hour shifts,” Loves Park Fire Chief Jerry Wiltfang said
That’s why the city wants to invest nearly $2.6 million to not just expand the building, but also add new equipment.
“That will be our main campus I would say for the fire department,” Loves Park Mayor Greg Jury said.
“Right now, we tend to lose an engine every two weeks due to maintenance issues, so then we’re down equipment,” Wiltfang said. “So, we can bring that up to a much more reliable state.”
The plan is to add two new truck bays and move the administration offices into an existing building on a new property the city recently purchased next to station 2.
The $2.5 million would also cover the purchase two new fire trucks, equipment Loves Park says it hasn’t bought in 30 years.
“This all plays into part of that, and then of course bringing equipment up to standards for safety reasons,” Wiltfang said.
The expansion also plays a part in a bigger plan for the city of loves park to get the department ready to expand services onto its east side.
“Somewhere down the line, 4 years, 5 years, 6 years, we’re going to end up having to have a station out in that area,” Jury said.
But first, it’s planning to break ground on this project as soon as possible.
“We’re looking at early in the fall to be in there and be up and running,”
Mayor Jury says the city plans to break ground on the addition in early June.
He says it will pay for the new addition and trucks with a 10-year bond, which will be paid off using money from the city’s general fund.