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Idaho Falls city leaders approve funding for new fire station

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IDAHO FALLS — The Idaho Falls Fire Department will have a new fire station in the coming years after the City Council approved funding for a vacant lot. It’s a plan that’s been in the works for some time due to the city’s growing population.

The City Council unanimously approved funding for the land Thursday without using local property tax dollars, according to a fire department news release. A total of $10,000 was authorized by the council as earnest money towards the $900,000 property. $658,000 from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was allocated, with an additional $252,000 coming from the auction and sale of the old fire station/fire prevention building on the corner of Holmes Avenue and 8th Street.

“When the opportunity arose to purchase the property with federal ARPA dollars combined with funds from the sale of an unneeded city property, we jumped on it,” said Mayor Rebecca Casper in a news release. “The Council members and I feel this creative approach best serves the interest of city taxpayers while still planning for future safety needs.”

The seven-acre vacant lot is located in between Clayton Homes and Andersen Business Development on the corner of Spitfire and Boeing Streets. The northern station will service areas like North River Road, Sage Lakes and the northern county line. 

the property
A piece of land showing where the new fire station will be located. | Courtesy Idaho Falls Fire Department
new property for fire
Area showing where the new fire station will be located. | Courtesy Idaho Falls Fire Department

“To really be planning for the future and have the support from the mayor and the council…it’s really exciting to be able to put those plans in motion,” said Idaho Falls Fire Chief Duane Nelson.

Nelson said the fire station would be built in the next three or four years. He explained to EastIdahoNews.com there are a total of four fire stations that are city-owned and two that are leased. The design for the new station will have multiple bays to house frontline engines, ambulances and storage.

Nelson said continued growth brings an increase in call volume, making the new station necessary.

The Idaho Falls Fire Department has experienced a steady increase in calls for service over the past three to four years, averaging 1,000 more calls per year. In 2021, the department had a significant spike at 3,000 more calls, totaling 17,230. 

The new station has not been given an official name yet since it has not been built and there is no official date for a groundbreaking due to planning being in the early stages.

“I appreciate the support of the mayor and council and this community that is very supportive of public safety, both law enforcement and EMS. We look forward to continuing to do the best job we can,” said Nelson.

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