A ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the new building for Fire Station No. 82 was held Saturday, Nov. 14.
Ramona Municipal Water District Board President Jim Robinson and CalFire Battalion Chief Marc Hafner with the Ramona Fire Department spoke at the event, with Hafner thanking the water district board of directors.
As a battalion chief, Hafner and CalFire Battalion Chief Greg Griswold with the Ramona Fire Department will have their office at Station 82, which is on Dye Road, off Route 67.
“It’s beautiful,” Griswold said of the new building. “The new station is comfortable and meets all our needs. It sleeps at least eight people at this time.”
The new building consists of 2,500 square feet of office and residential space with sleeping areas, a central gathering room and kitchen facilities. It was planned to accommodate an increase in firefighters if needed during a fire emergency.
“We got it done and it’s a beautiful place,” said Robinson. “It will help service the community so much better. We’ll get rid of the temporary facilities we had so long. It will be a cost-savings to the district.”
Robinson noted that the building cost more than originally planned but it has state-of-the-art equipment, including a radio system that had not been envisioned at the start of the project.
The construction of Station 82 was a seven-year-long process that began when the previous residence and office space was found to be contaminated with mold. The staff had to evacuate and a temporary trailer was placed on the site.
Much of the long process in building the new station was due to the fact that the district initially thought the existing station had a major use permit (MUP) from the county and, therefore, the project was treated as a replacement. When it was discovered that the application for the original MUP indicated it had been waived based on a temporary facility being installed, the district had to obtain an MUP from the county.
Along with the design process, the district had to make improvements to Dye Road and Chapel Lane and construct a horse trail because the location included an area designated for a trail in the county’s Community Trails Master Plan.
Davis & Adams Construction began construction on the building a little over a year ago. Total costs for construction was approximately $736,000. Adding in the costs of design, permitting, off-site improvements, and some unanticipated expenses, the total amount for the project was $1.062 million.
One of the extra expenses was a CalFire Call System, at a cost of $35,000, which provides incoming notification of fires.