Copperas Cove voters approved a $6 million bond referendum the city said it needs to build a new fire station in the Five Hills area.

The measure passed with 762 voters, or 59 percent, in favor of the referendum, and 529, or 41 percent, opposed to it.

Fire department officials said the station is needed to save lives when a fire occurs.

“The immense growth in that area has resulted in both an increased number of calls for the fire department and an increase in response times,” said Fire Chief Burney Baskett.

“The national benchmark response time for fire departments is four minutes or less. The fire department’s current average response time to that area is 5 minutes, 49 seconds. That is an increase in just the past five years from an average of 4 minutes, 33 seconds — a 27 percent increase,” Baskett said.

He said the fire department’s response times and occupancy information are utilized to calculate the ISO rating for the city.

“This rating is used to set insurance rates for all businesses and residents in the city, not just in the Five Hills area. The building of a new fire station in the eastern part of the city will help to maintain its current ISO rating of a 2,” Baskett said. “This will help to prevent an increase in insurance premiums due to a decline of our ISO rating.

“The approval of these bonds allows the city to maintain its high level of service to all its citizens while helping to contain insurance rates for property owners,” he added.

The new station will serve four schools, four churches, 142 businesses and 2,081 residential properties. This will be the city’s fourth fire station.

In November 2012, residents approved a $4.7 million bond for a new fire station and fire equipment by an overwhelming margin.

Funding from that bond constructs a new fire station at Grimes Crossing Road and Avenue B, replacing the station located outside City Park at 1208 W. Avenue B.

Contact Wendy Sledd at or (254) 501-7476

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