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Lake Elsinore To Get More Fire Protection

City and fire officials contend the opening of Station #97 on the north end of Lake Elsinore will cut down on response times.

Rosetta Canyon Fire Station is on track to open in July, according to Lake Elsinore City Councilman Brian Tisdale.

The official word came down Tuesday night as city council members unanimously approved the purchase of a fire truck for Station #97 on Rosetta Canyon Drive.

The council approved the purchase of a “Quint” ladder truck that has a total cost of $809,417 including tax.

Council members also noted that at a later date the city will spend an additional $200,000 to outfit the truck with necessary equipment.

Tisdale has been working with the county to get the fire station open. As part of the negotiations, county officials agreed to kick in $300,000 toward the truck’s purchase. Of the remaining costs on the Quint, $259,417 will come from the city’s general fund and $250,000 will be sourced from the Fire Facilities Impact Fund.

Monies to pay for the added equipment will likely come from the city’s general fund and AMR fine revenue, according to city documents.

For more than three years, the newly constructed Rosetta Canyon Fire Station has remained closed due to budget challenges. But in December, Lake Elsinore City Council members voted 5-0 to approve a cooperative agreement with the county that calls for fire and medical services at Station #97, along with the Quint truck purchase.

Under the agreement that was championed by Tisdale, the county agreed to chip in for the truck, as well as share in the cost of the Quint’s crew by pitching in $500,000 annually for a captain; the city’s annual portion is $1 million for three other crew members, including a paramedic.

Although the station is scheduled to open in July, it will take almost a year before the new truck is built and about another 60 days before the Quint is outfitted with equipment, explained Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department Battalion Chief Mark Barr during Tuesday night’s meeting.

The county has also agreed to cover 50 percent of furniture, fixtures and equipment costs – up to $100,000 -- for Station #97.

The city asked the county to share costs because the station will not only serve Lake Elsinore but also nearby unincorporated communities. Resources at the facility could also be called upon by other cities.

Currently, Lake Elsinore has three operational fire stations: McVicker Park Station #85, Lake Elsinore Fire Station #10 on W. Graham, and Canyon Hills Station #94 on Railroad Canyon.

City and fire officials contend the opening of Station #97 on the north end of Lake Elsinore will cut down on response times.

Tuesday night, Tisdale said Lake Elsinore has waited a long time for this station.

“It’s probably one of the biggest things we’ll do this year,” he said.

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