For nearly three years following its construction, Rosetta Canyon Fire Station #97 in Lake Elsinore has remained closed due to budget challenges.
That will now change due to an agreement between the city and County of Riverside that finally opens the long-shuttered station on Rosetta Canyon Drive.
During its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday night, 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 purchase of a Quint fire truck for the facility.
Under the cooperative agreement that was championed by Lake Elsinore City Councilman Brian Tisdale with help from Riverside County Supervisor Bob Buster, former interim Lake Elsinore City Manager Tom Evans, as well as Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department officials, the county has agreed to chip in $300,000 toward the purchase of a new $950,000 Quint. A Quint features water storage, a pump, hose, ground and aerial ladders, as well as other equipment, according to city documents.
Under the agreement, the county has also agreed to share in the cost of a four-person crew for the truck by pitching in $500,000 annually for a captain; the city’s annual portion is $1 million for the three other crewmembers, including a paramedic.
During Tuesday’s meeting, City Manager Grant Yates told council members it will take approximately one year for the new Quint to be built, and another six months to outfit it with county equipment.
In the meantime, the county will provide Station #97 with a three-person engine so the city can open Rosetta Canyon in July. Under the agreement, the city will pay for the crew.
The county has also agreed to cover 50 percent of furniture, fixtures and equipment costs – up to $100,000 -- for the station.
The city asked the county to share costs because the station would 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. Yates said reduced response times can be used as an economic development tool, noting that insurance costs should go down for local businesses.
Tisdale called the agreement a big win for the city and the county.
“We have this great partnership,” he said.