The City of Liberty has been awarded a $5 million grant from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs that will be used to build a second fire station on the 100 block of Bowie Street. The site is located on the south side of US 90 behind Auto Zone and O’Reilly’s Auto Parts.
Construction of the fire station is projected to cost roughly $6 million. The City of Liberty has set aside $1 million in its budget for fire station renovations and improvements that can be used for the new fire station, said City Manager Tom Warner.
The second fire station is crucial for the safety of citizens and businesses as it provides a fire station on the south side of the Union Pacific Railroad tracks. At the present time, in the event that a train is stalled or delayed due to an accident, firefighters potentially could be delayed from reaching another emergency on the south side of the tracks.
“We already have equipment for the second fire station and we have applied for a lot of other grants, but none of those have been approved yet,” said Fire Chief Brian Hurst.
According to Hurst, the fire department is expected to be approved for a grant from the Texas Fire Service for a new pumper/tanker truck. Hurst applied for that grant 10 years ago.
Once built, the second fire station will be manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week, just like Fire Station 1.
Preliminary drawings for the second fire station show it having three apparatus bays, where a ladder truck, brush truck, rescue boat and medic unit can be staged. It also will have rooms off the bays for bunker gear, tool storage, hose racks and storage, and a decontaminant shower. It will also have a training room that can accommodate more than two dozen students, a lounge, dining room, kitchen, exercise room, three sleeping rooms, offices and a reception area.
Hurst said he is uncertain when construction of the fire station will start but he projects it will take 9 to 12 months for it to be completed based on his previous experiences with fire station construction.
Fire Station 1, which is located on Lakeland Drive, is the primary location for the fire department. It was built in 2006. Hurst said there are plans to do some minor improvements to that fire station as well.