PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Nederland

May 7, 2014

Water District No. 10 seeks $1 million bond to construct fire station

NEDERLAND — A $1 million bond proposition to construct a new fire station is on the ballot for residents in the Central Gardens area of Nederland.

Jefferson County Water Control and Improvement District No. 10’s volunteer fire department has operated from the same building on Central Boulevard since 1983. During that time the district’s area and population has grown.

WCID No. 10 recently purchased three-fourths of an acre of land at Spurlock Road and Price Street — across from Nederland High School’s baseball field, for the purpose of constructing a new fire station. Also on the Price Street side is a home which will be razed.

“This area is more centralized,” WD10 General Manager Tommy McDonald said while standing in the now vacant field where the proposed fire station will be located. “Over the years the Water District has grown. This area was selected to better serve everyone in the district.”

Lance Wood, fire chief for the WD No. 10 Volunteer Fire Department, said a new station would improve response time.

“The main thing is that it would be centrally located within the district,” Wood, who has been with the VFD for 15 years, said. “We will have easier access to the highways from the new location and also have drive-through bays so we won’t have to back into the station.”

If approved by voters, a 3 cent increase would be added to the maintenance and operations portion of the tax rate thus moving the rate to 30 cents per $100 valuation.

The new facility would be approximately 5,000 square feet, single story fire station with three drive-through apparatus bays plus living quarters, a training room, lobby, offices, two full bathrooms, storage room and kitchen.

McDonald doesn’t think the proximity to the high school will be a problem.

“We are working with County Commissioner Precinct 2 Brent Weaver to determine the best solution,” he said in reference to possible traffic issues.

If approved by voters, the bidding and design phase would take about eight months and construction would take up to 12 months, according to information from the Water District.

McDonald said the current fire station facility would not go to waste should the bond proposition be approved by voters. The WCID would purchase the building and use it to park its fleet equipment.

Water District No. 10 receives about 274 calls per year for various issues ranging from fires, medical assists, smoke alarms and motor vehicle accidents among other incidents.

The VFD serves two square miles in the Central Gardens and surrounding rural areas such as the unincorporated areas between the cities of Nederland and Beaumont as well as working with neighboring fire departments. The Water District services about 5,500 people.

E-mail: mmeaux@panews.com

Twitter: MaryMeauxPANews

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