City approves new fire/police station for construction in Little Valley

Firefighters respond to the scene of a fire in St. George, Utah, April 8, 2018 | File photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A new facility doubling as a police and fire station has been approved for construction in the southeastern end of St. George.

The location of a lot designated for the construction of a new fire station in the Little Valley area of St. George, Utah | Image courtesy of St. George Fire Department, St. George News

Alongside the city’s rapidly growing population has come a need for additional public safety venues, and nowhere is that growth more apparent than in the Little Valley area. The new Fire Station 9 will be built in a new subdivision between Meadow Valley Lane and the soon-to-be built Commerce Drive (4150 South).

A conditional use permit for the building’s construction was recently approved by the St. George City Council, allowing for construction to go forward on the planned 11,746-square foot facility on a 1.78-acre lot.

While the building will be constructed primarily with fire protection in mind, in addition to serving as a fire station, it will function as an extension site for the St. George Police Department. Going forward, this double-duty design is the plan for all future fire stations in St. George.

“It’s been great to build those fire stations that way,” St. George Fire Chief Robert Stoker said. “It really has been beneficial to both departments and the city.”

An artist’s rendition of a new fire station to be built in the Little Valley area of St. George, Utah | Image courtesy of city of St. George, St. George News

Two fire stations in the city already function this way – in the areas of Dixie Downs and SunRiver.

Stoker said such fire stations work well as outposts for police officers working in opposite ends of St. George away from the Police Department’s downtown headquarters.

“We’re able to keep those officers out in those areas so they don’t have to come back into the police department downtown to do their reports,” he said. “They have areas to do their reports and interview rooms – things like that – in those stations.”

The new location will also serve as an essential interface for the Fire Department, which covers an approximate area of 75 square miles within the city, not counting when other municipalities call for mutual aid.

The approximate location of a lot designated for the construction of a new fire station in the Little Valley area of St. George, Utah, Feb. 22, 2019 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

Currently the closest fire station to the large population center in Little Valley is Fire Station 3 on the corner of River Road and 2230 South, about 3 miles from the forthcoming Fire Station 9.

The fire station has been in the planning stages for over a year, and the project was allocated $2.2 million in the city’s fiscal year 2018-19 budget.

Read more: Growth, not an increase in property tax rate, will fund St. George’s $270 million budget

The facility will be equipped to handle the Fire Department’s various duties, including responding to fires, medical calls, hazmat incidents, technical rescues, vehicle extractions and fire code inspections.

The facilities expansion coincides with a recent hiring push for more fire personnel made possible by a $1 million grant, which has allowed the department to hire several new firefighters, all of whom began their first day on the job Friday.

Email: jwitham@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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