COPPERAS COVE — The city and its economic development corporation Thursday held a land dedication ceremony for a property that will house a fire and police substation.
“Today, we dedicate property to the city for a new fire and public safety station,” said Dan Yancey, the Cove EDC’s president. “This project has been in the works since the 2010 land exchange with Fort Hood.
“The (Cove EDC) board recognizes that the property to this facility, the Narrows Business and Technology Park, was a win-win situation.”
The 4-acre lot is off of Old Copperas Cove Road between Constitution Avenue and Robert Griffin III Boulevard. It will become a fire station and police substation sometime after 2015, when the city plans to issue a $6 million bond for its construction.
After construction, it will serve residents along with Five Hills, the Narrows Business and Technology Park, and Copperas Cove Professional and Business Park.
“I would like to thank the citizens because they are the one who voted to build a fire station,” said City Manager Andrea Gardner.
Without residents’ support for the fire station, the city wouldn’t need the land because funding would not exist for its construction.
According to city data, an estimated 2,231 addresses are located in the service area proposed for fire station No. 4, including four schools and more than 2,000 homes.
The construction of the fire station should reduce response time by almost 2 minutes to those addresses currently served by the main fire station on South Main Street. The average response time in the eastern portion of Copperas Cove and the Five Hills shopping center is 5 minutes, 49 seconds, according to the city.
The national standard is 4 minutes.
Continued development in the area would increase those response times even more if the station wasn’t built, said Cove Fire Chief Burney Baskett.
Construction of such emergency service buildings typically occur after the development, Baskett said. In this case, Cove thought “ahead of the curve.”
The station being in place before the area is developed means the fire department can plan further into the future and serve upcoming years’ growth.