A new fire station planned for Lake Joy Road near its intersection with Feagin Mill Road should open by year's end, Warner Robins Fire Chief Robert Singletary says.
"We're just looking forward to getting it completed and getting it up and running," Singletary said.
The new station, expected to cost between $300,000 to $350,000, is part of plan to improve fire coverage to keep pace with the city's growth, he said.
Much of the growth of the county has been in the Lake Joy and Feagin Mill areas, Singletary said.
Site preparation is now under way for the Lake Joy station, with construction expected to begin by the end of the month, he said.
The new station will include a police substation, Singletary said.
Also in the works is the construction of a new fire headquarters station at Bernard Drive and North Pleasant Hill Road near Westside Elementary School, Singletary said.
Construction is expected to be completed this year, he said.
A new station at 901 North Houston Road opened in June as part of the plan to ensure placement of stations where better fire coverage may be provided, Singletary said.
Once the new stations are in place, existing fire stations at 111 Green Street, which is now fire headquarters, and at 207 Myrtle St., which located behind City Hall, will close, Singletary said. The former stations will be used to provide space for the city's police department, which is due for expansion, he said.
With the new fire stations in place and the former stations closed, the city will still be manning the same number of fire stations, which is six, Singletary said.
The shifting of the station locations will improve fire coverage, which will in turn increase response time, Singletary said.
"It's really going to help the residents of Warner Robins by increasing the level of protection and cutting response times," Singletary said.
The other city fire stations are located at 117-A Chestnut Road, 709 Sandy Run Road and 401 Osigian Road.
Police Chief Brett Evans said the additional space that the police department will pick up when the new fire stations open will allow expansion of some divisions.
One will be the criminalistic division, which includes crime scene investigators, that will be moved into the fire station on Myrtle, Evans said. One advantage will be huge bays that can be used for vehicle processing, he said.
At the new fire station on Lake Joy, police officers will staff the police substation 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Evans said. However, booking and processing of suspects will not be shifted from the main station at 800 South Young Avenue, he said.
At the Green Street location, some of the smaller police divisions, such as narcotics investigators and traffic officers, will be housed, Evans said.
These units are now farmed out into varied buildings, and the new location will allow these police officers on the drug and traffic units to operate out of one central location, Evans said.
With the changes, space will be freed up in the existing police station. "It will give us space to grow into," Evans said.