MONROE, LA (KTVE/KARD)– It’s almost been a year since the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Monroe fire station #5 off Betin avenue. Now, construction is still underway but officials say the estimated time of moving in fire trucks and firefighters in December.
“This project has been long-awaited and we are so excited to be at this point right now,” said Shabrodrick Jones, Monroe Fire Department.
Only a few things are left, like touching up the outside of the building, adding sheetrock, and paint. Fire officials say the new building offers updated rooms and more space.
‘Everybody will have their own individual rooms, with separate sleeping quarters. We have a total of 12 rooms, including the district chief’s room. He’ll have his separate office as well as a captain’s office. We also have a separate female restroom, that way everyone is more comfortable and we can be a more diverse department,” said Investigator Jones.
The location of fire station #5 is very important as it is centrally located in the City of Monroe and surrounded by residential structures.
“It’s one of our highest responding stations. Our call volume is extremely high for the east side of Monroe as well as north Monroe,” said Jones.
That’s why the main goal was to rebuild the new station in this area. The firefighters at station 5 were moved to the Public Safety Center until the building was complete, making their response time a little longer. However, once they are moved back to Betin street, it will take an average of 4 to 5 minutes to get to the scene.
“For them to be back in their own new station, they’re new home, they are super excited about it. They will be back here ready to serve the citizens and we can reduce that delayed response time,” said Jones.
The budget for the station was set at 2.1 million dollars. After some unforeseen dirt work, it did go up, but officials say it’s in the same price range.