HOBART (NBC 26) — The Village of Hobart's current fire station has been home to the Hobart Fire Department since the 1960s, but that's about to change.
The village broke ground on a new fire station on Monday that will be more than 18,000 square feet and cost nearly $5 million.
“This marks an event that this community has been looking forward to, not for years, but for decades," Village of Hobart President Rich Heidel said.
The new fire station is located at the same address as the current fire station, and its goals are to have a full ambulance service and be a future polling place.
Village of Hobart Fire Chief Jerry Lancelle said it’s also needed to serve the growing village population and improve the safety of the village’s firefighters.
“The ability for our firefighters to stay safe when they come back, for instance, with today’s hazards out there, they’ll be able to decontaminate, wash, shower...not only their gear but the firefighters too," Lancelle said. "They’ll be able to shower here before they leave the station.”
Lancelle said the current fire station does not have showers for its firefighters and is "outdated for modern firefighting."
Heidel said the village has had the funding to launch the project, and they don't expect it to affect taxpayers for the next few years. He said their goal is to continue to keep village costs low and look into cost-efficient options in the future.
"Greatness continues to grow in Hobart, and this marks an accomplishment in which every single one of us, every single individual, who calls Hobart home, can take great pride in," Heidel said.
"We need this," Lancelle said. "As a chief, I can't tell you how excited I am about this."
Lancelle said the fire department is hoping to move into the new station this upcoming fall.