About two dozen residents gathered at the Bloomingdale West Recreation Center Jan. 31 to review plans for construction of a new fire station to serve the Bloomingdale area.
The county is proposing to build a new 9,500-square-foot fire station to replace the current South Brandon Station #7 at 122 W. Bloomingdale Ave., between John Moore Road and Kings Avenue in Brandon.
The current station was constructed 40 years ago as a volunteer station and became a career station 22 years ago. It's 2,800 square feet and is located in a flood zone.
The county wants to build a new station on a piece of property west of Bloomingdale High School between Springvale Drive and Hurley Road.
The new station will have three bays, including one for an ambulance, and accommodations for a fully staffed station 24 hours a day, including paramedics.
In contrast, the old station can only accommodate two trucks and sleep two firefighters.
County staff pointed out that the new station will have better access to Bell Shoals and Boyette roads and will increase response times.
The cost of the land is $457,000 and the overall cost of construction is $1.5 million.
Some residents were concerned about the station's proximity to Bloomingdale High School and wanted to know how students walking on the sidewalk in front of the station would be impacted if there is a call.
Staff explained that the station will be equipped with an alarm and crossing gates that will block off the sidewalk during a call.