Construction on a fire station on the westside of Beaumont will begin in September, city manager Todd Parton told the Beaumont City Council at its March 3 meeting.

The presentation, shared with CalFire, was more of an information item rather than an action item.

The community has wanted a fire station on the west side of town for many years now and the reality of having one will begin later this year.

It also was an opportunity to talk about the wildfires that have happened and the cost of having insurance.

The fire station, and a new police station, are scheduled to be built on property on Cherry Valley Boulevard and Potrero Boulevard.

Parton and Capt. Marcus Hernandez talked about insurance premiums in regards to wildfires in California.

In 2013, there were 15 wildfires in California.

Parton said that homeowners faced terminations of their insurance policy or extreme premium increases due to the wildfires.

The legislature voted that homeowners insurance could not be cancelled within one year of an underlying emergency.

“The impact on premiums is very complicated,” Parton said.

There was a California Public Utilities map showing fire hazard zones.

Fees and payments were being collected by developers who determined what fees were spent in 14 different impact areas.

Public safety fees were going to be used for construction of the fire station.

The city council agreed in 2017 to purchase four acres of land and then added two more acres to include the police station.

The city put $3.5 million toward the construction of the fire station in the 2019/20 budget.

The design contract was awarded in 2018 and In October 2019, the city council accepted the deed to the land.

For the new fire station, an extra fire engine company was added for $1.5 million.

But Parton said the city was being careful about this new fire station.

“We don’t want a new fire station built and then have it left vacant,” he said.

Councilmember Nancy Carroll asked if there was any chance of moving up the date and Parton said that September was a pretty firm date.

Staff writer Julie Farren may be reached at jfarren@recordgazette.net.

Staff Writer Julie Farren may be reached at jfarren@recordgazette.net.

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