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Myakka City--Departments Look for New Stations

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  • Myakka City--Departments Look for New Stations

    Fire districts scramble for new stations


    BY ERIN BRYCE

    MYAKKA CITY -- The East Manatee fire districts want to add more stations to decrease response times and better serve a growing population.

    The Braden River, Myakka City and Parrish fire districts are working on plans for new stations. Fire officials say they are trying to keep ahead of the growth, but they are already behind in planning.

    Myakka City Fire Chief Bobby Dodge is searching for land on State Road 64 to build a third fire station in the 230-square-mile district. The district has plans to start construction on its second fire station, a 3,000-square-foot facility, later this year off State Road 70.

    But Dodge said growth is already prompting demand for a station off State Road 64 near the Winding Creek development, about 10 miles east of Lake Manatee Recreation Park.

    "I think it's hard to keep ahead of the growth," he said. "We're looking at some options to spread out in our district."

    At the same time, the Braden River Fire District wants to build a new station at State Road 70 and Lorraine Road. The commissioners wrote to Rex Jensen, president of Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, which owns the property, last month asking that the company donate land.

    Jensen, who is out of town, could not be reached for comment. Last month, he said it was too early to comment because he needed to talk to SMR's board of directors.

    Parrish Fire Control District officials want to build a station on County Road 675 at the end of North Rye Road to help handle the growth.

    At a fire district commission meeting two weeks ago, Interim Chief Michael C. Johnson said more than 2,400 lots are set to be developed southeast of Parrish and more than 7,400 lots from Interstate 75 to about four miles east of Parrish, will also have new homes.

    The new station would have two bays to house four trucks and the district would have to hire additional staff. Parrish fire officials estimate the station will not be completed for another three years.

    While those plans are still further off, Dodge is concentrating on building an East Manatee station on State Road 70. He said the district noticed an increase in calls in the Panther Ridge community about five years ago. At the time, Frank Buskirk, Steve Summers and Jeff Gravely, the three developers of Panther Ridge, donated land for a station on the southwest corner of Verna Road and State Road 70.

    Dodge said the station should be completed by August 2004. He said he hopes to start clearing land soon.

    The district is in the process of selecting a lender. It will need $230,000 for construction.

    Dodge said he hopes to cut costs by finding volunteers to help out with some of the construction. He is looking for plumbers, electricians, and anyone else interested in helping.

    "We're a community-based fire department," Dodge said. "That's how we operate."

    When the station is completed, it will have a truck for brush fires and one fire engine. Volunteer firefighters will staff the station, said Lt. Dan Cacchiotti.

    "I'm excited about it," Cacchiotti said. "I think it's something that's been a long time coming."

    Staff writer Tiffany Lankes contributed to this report.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

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