City officials in Lebanon finally broke ground on a new fire station that was seven years in the making.
Fire Station 4 has been planned for Highway 109 and Division Street in the west side of the city. The project would cost the city about $3.5 million to construct and purchase new equipment.
Lebanon Mayor Bernie Ash said that area of the city has been experiencing exponential growth with a nearby subdivision and construction of an 800 unit complex just south of the interstate.
"Nashville is growing by leaps and bounds, and a lot of that growth is spilling into Mt. Juliet and Lebanon and heading this way," Mayor Ash said.
It's a prime location that's also needing better access to firefighters in times of emergencies.
The idea was first brought up seven years ago, but it was about three to four years later when council members discussed the details of the proposed plan. However, through different opinions, lack of funds, and then over budget issues, the project was not passed until last year.
"Everybody had a different view. I was ready to throw my hands up," Fire Chief Chris Dowell told NewsChannel 5. "For it to finally come to life and see dirt moving is great."
Officials said the new station will help ease the workload from the three other stations located more in the east side of town and ultimately help with response times.
"We were running to that location and it was taking a little over 13 minutes to respond. The new station is going to cut the time in half," Chief Dowell added.
The fire station will be named after former council member Joe Hayes who brought up the idea of a fourth fire station.
It will staff 15 full-time employees and should open around this in 2018.