In July 2020, Copper Canyon Fire & Medical Authority (CCFMA) in Camp Verde, Arizona, began constructing its new fire station, located at 3675 Cherry Creek Road near State Route 260. However, because of COVID-19-related construction delays, the latest hope is that the new station can open by June.
According to CCFMA Chief Terry Keller, the department’s ideal location for the station would have been off of Arena Del Loma, which would allow for direct access to the underserved Middle Verde area. However, land issues with the Yavapai-Apache Nation put a stop to
Keller also had pushed for the bridge over the Verde River at Coury Lane off of State Route 260 as part of the Verde Connect project, which would have allowed for easy transportation from the State Route 260 corridor to Middle Verde, but the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors ended that project this week.
The total cost of the 10,500-square-foot building is expected to be $3.6 million. Because property tax rates for the fire district are maxed out, the department hopes to pay for it without any additional taxes. The district used funds in its capital reserves to purchase the land; it is now using a lease purchase process (similar to that of a mortgage) to finance construction.
The building will feature eight dorms, although only five will be staffed when it officially opens. The new station is part of a plan to deal with the future of the SR 260 corridor, which the town of Camp Verde hopes to develop in the next few years.
For the next few years, staffing will be covered by a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Keller said that grant would normally require significant matching funds from the fire district, but the COVID-19 pandemic led to changes in federal financing, eliminating the matching requirements.
CCFMA also plans on purchasing an additional engine and hiring nine employees—three are already on the payroll—to staff the new station. The department will move an ambulance and the associated staff from the main CCFMA office in Camp Verde rather than simply purchasing a new ambulance, though Keller clarified that both of the fire district’s two ambulances will likely be moving from station to station as the need arises.
CCFMA also hopes to also build a station off Howards Road, southwest of Camp Verde, to access the Verde Lakes area, which is too far away from the main station.