Firefighters at the county’s westernmost fire station soon could get a new, but temporary, location closer to Interstate 95, a move expected to improve response times and remove staff while mold is being removed from the current station.
County staff wants to lease property on Americana Road as a temporary site for Station 7, now at 1215 82nd Ave. It is one of four fire stations tested in March for mold and other air-quality issues, almost a year after firefighters complained. Two sites on Americana Road are being considered for a two-year lease until a permanent site is found, staff told county commissioners Tuesday. Preliminary estimates are for a $12,000 a year lease, said Assistant Fire Chief Brian Burkeen.
Modular housing was ordered for Station 7 and Station 1, 1500 Old Dixie Highway, because of the extensive work and time anticipated to eliminate the issues. The modular units are expected to arrive next week, and will take three to four weeks to set up, according to the county. Firefighters could move into Station 1 modulars, on the same site as the existing station, by June 26, and into Station 7 modulars by July 3.
Two of the four stations tested — Station 10 in Fellsmere and Station 11 in Wabasso — were considered less damaged, and remediation could be done before modular units could be delivered. Station 11 is considered to be 99 percent completed, while station 10 should be completed within two weeks.
While county engineers have not released their reports, testing conducted by the firefighters union shows mold at all four stations.
County staff has said they want to permanently move Station 7 next year closer to I-95, where the majority of the serious calls are in the western part of the county. When the station opened in 1984, there was no Indian River Mall and little development west of I-95. Now, there is a CVS distribution center and the Vero Beach Outlets.
For more information, view www.tcpalm.com