AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin’s Public Works Department gave an update to the mayor and council members on the city’s efforts to build and staff five joint fire-EMS stations in six years.
The update was released in a city memo Monday. Public Works says construction is finished for two out of five stations so far: Del Valle/Moore’s Crossing Station and Travis Country Station.
The Travis Country Station is also operational, and EMS and fire personnel have moved in. Public Works is planning to schedule a grand opening celebration for the station.
For the Loop 360/Davenport Station, the design phase is nearly complete, and contract amendments to begin construction on the station is up for discussion on this week’s city council agenda. Public Works is estimating the station will be complete in January 2023, and the department is planning for a ribbon cutting to be scheduled soon.
The Goodnight Ranch Station is set to begin design work, if contract amendments are approved at this week’s city council meeting. Preliminary engineering is expected to start this month after funding is set aside.
Public Works says the Austin Police Department will also be sharing the Canyon Creek/620 Station site. Design on the APD facility has started.
The resolution to build the joint stations was adopted by council members in May 2018 in hopes of improving the Austin Fire Department’s response times. The plans state AFD has a goal of responding to emergencies within eight minutes, 90% of the time. The resolution points out more of these stations are needed to accommodate Austin’s population growth.
Public Works does note the pandemic has affected funding for the stations.
“As you know, COVID-19 has had a great impact on our budget and fiscal outlook,” wrote Director of Public Works Richard Mendoza in the memo. But he says they are confident they’ll be able to deliver the remaining three stations within the original six-year timeline.