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South Bend Fire looks to move ahead with new station plans

SOUTH BEND, Ind.—A new fire station is in the works for South Bend’s east side.

Wednesday, the department revealed how much it’s going to costs to finance the long overdue upgrade.

Station 9 is nearly a century old and it’s been ridden with quite a few problems for a while.

“The building was built with very small living quarters and very small apparatus floors,” said Chief Steve Cox of the South Bend Fire Department.

The space outside the station was just as small, making it hard for trucks to pull in and out.

The department determined the solution could be just down the block.

“That removes that risk of an accident to the motoring public and our firefighters,” said Chief Cox.

After considering a spot in Potawatomi Park, South Bend Fire secured several properties across the street.

During a budget hearing Wednesday, the department revealed the city will put aside $183,000 and seek a $5 million bond to cover its construction.

“As we work through the project we want to make sure that we’re reducing costs in any place that’s possible and feasible,” said Chief Cox.

That investment means five to six people can staff the new building daily, compared to three at the old station.

It’ll also be co-ed, whereas the current location was intended for male fire fighters only.

And the priority of this new building will be the wellness of its staff.

“We want to make the quarters also more health conscious, we want to give them a space to work out in,” said Chief Cox.

The department does not anticipate the project will cost $5 million, so a portion of the bond will go to creating a new classroom room at its training center.

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