BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. – Getting help to you faster when you dial 911. The Bonita Springs Fire Department says it has a plan to make that happen, but it comes with a cost.
WINK News found out it could take more than $1 million to build a sixth station in east Bonita.
“Some of the residents come up and ask me, ‘hey Chief, when are you going to build a station out here?'”
Bonita Springs Fire Chief Joseph Daigle says east Bonita has grown extensively over the past few years and his crews are responding to more and more calls.
“Right now our response times to East VillageWalk and Bonita National is between 10 and 16 minutes maybe even longer depending on traffic,” said Chief Daigle.
The chief says that’s too long when every second counts.
“It is unacceptable to the standards that we set for ourselves here in Bonita Springs.”
The fire department already owns 1 acre of land on Bonita Beach Road, just past VillageWalk where the proposed fire station will go.
“That would cut the response times between 50 to 80 percent in half,” Daigle tells WINK News.
About a year and a half ago, the department staff looked into how much it would cost to build the new fire station. At that time, the price tag given was about $1.6 million.
“There is a price we all pay for safety,” said resident Sandy Gibbons.
Gibbons has lived at VillageWalk for 10 years and says east Bonita needs it. She has watched her neighborhood grow from 48 homes to over 1,700.
“There is tremendous security in knowing the fire department is here for medical emergencies.”
The money will come from impact fees, which you pay when building new construction. If the station is approved, the chief expects the project to take about two years to finish. The new fire station will also bring in new jobs.