(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.)- Some say part of the reason the recent vote to continue a half-cent sales tax in St. Joseph was because how the money was spent. Two examples include two new fire stations in St. Joseph.
"We're upgrading out buildings," SJFD fireman Zach Bestgen said. "We're upgrading out equipment. It's much needed for the City of St. Joseph."
Tuesday was the first chance fire crews had the opportunity to show off their latest addition- Fire Station Number 9 at 32nd and Faraon Streets.
"It's a great spot," SJFD chief Mike Dalsing said. "You can go east or west in a rapid amount of time and this gives us another station closer to the Belt Highway, where a lot of the population is."
Along with opening Fire Station 11 at the beginning of the month, the openings represent a look ahead toward the future thanks to an investment of more than $5 million of community improvement project funds.
"These are the first two new stations I've ever been a part in being built new for our department," Fire prevention chief Kenny Cordonnier said. "It's pretty exciting."
Fire House 9, along with 11, are the first two new fire stations built in the city since the 1970s, replacing firehouses that were more than 100-years-old.
With a modern design and built for function, the new facilities will be major steps from the ones they are replacing.
"These stations were built in 1901, 1903 and 1906," Dalsing said. "They served us well but it's nice to be in a one-story, easy access station."
City officials said the next fire station targeted for replacement is Firehouse Number 8 located at 33rd and Mitchell Streets.
Dalsing adding that he would like to see a new one built further east--closer to Deer Park and the University.
- SJFD opens the doors to new Fire Station Number 9
- SJFD Receives Two Fire Station Upgrades
- WATCH: Full tour of new SJFD fire station
- SJFD responds to Southside fire
- SJFD Battles Early Morning House Fire
- SJFD Fire Chief Explains Shift Trading
- COJOE Officially Opens its Doors
- South Side EMS Station Opens
- SJFD Respond to Vacant Structure Engulfed in Flames
- Open house set for tonight for new fire station