Grand Junction looking to break ground on new fire station this year

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT) -- Horizon Park doesn't look like a whole lot right now, but by the end of this year, it could be well on its way to being home to fire station six.

"We are actually really hoping to break ground on it before the end of the year," Chris Angermuller, deputy chief for GJFD, said. "After construction is done we might be looking at the summertime before we can staff it."

This after voters approved a .5% sales tax increase for public safety last week. The money won't start coming in until January of 2020, but the fire department says we need these resources now.

"Our city has been growing quite a bit, it's actually been kind of a rapid growth, and we haven't been able to get stations out to those locations and as a result, we're seeing response times anywhere from 10 to 12 minutes which is very high," Angermuller said.

While the station gets built, the fire and police department working to get people hired. That process could take between nine months to a year.

"We're going to mount a very rigorous recruitment campaign and hiring, which will be the largest that our department has ever had in its history," Angermuller said.

Meanwhile, the City of Grand Junction is looking forward to other issues. They hosted their first comprehensive plan meeting Tuesday night.

"What do we want our community to look like? And it's so important to plan for that today," Greg Caton, Grand Junction city manager, said. "We need to have the infrastructure in place, whether that's the road, the utilities, the parks, everything that we have grown to love about our community today."

Tuesday's meeting was just one of many, which will identify what the community wants the city to focus on. The plan won't actually be done for months.

"It’s so important that we deliver great services on a day to day basis but also the community expects that we’re looking forward," Caton said.

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