DES MOINES, Iowa -- The City of Des Moines has been working to add a new fire station to the northeast part of the city for at least five years.
Neighbor Beverly Nolte described the sound as the demolition of the Relax Inn started to make way for the $8.3 million fire station.
“Well the sounds that we are hearing right now are very loud because they are just absolutely crushing this building. I mean this big jaw is gobbling it up,” Nolte said.
City Manager Scott Sanders described it as the sound of progress.
“Having this fire station at East 42nd and Hubbell Avenue will cut in half the response time to the farthest northeast corner of the city and that's really significant,” Des Moines Fire Chief John TeKippe said.
Residents like Nolte and Joe Youngwirth say a new fire station in their neighborhood was desperately needed.
"It's a quality of life issue for people knowing that medical response time and fire response time is quicker also insurance companies usually ask you how far are you from a local fire station when they do rates for your housing and things like that so it's a win win for all residents," Youngwirth said.
Sanders said this station is partially funded by the new local option sales tax.
Nolte said she thinks it’s a great way to use that money.
"To me, it's the power of a penny. What one penny can do, this sales tax that we have here in Des Moines will help to build this building. And that's pretty exciting," Nolte said
Fire station 11 will not only benefit residents, it will also be environmentally friendly.
“There’s going to be stormwater features with some prairie grasses, more of a natural feel, if you will. There’s also going to be solar panels on top of the fire station and that actually will be an opportunity for the fire fighters to train around new technology,” Sanders said.
TeKippe said the inside of the new station is designed with firefighters in mind.
“This station will have a series of ways people can decontaminate based on the call they go on and the stations being built that way so dirty gear never has to go to the clean part of the station and that’s a big advancement for us,” TeKippe said.
Des Moines Fire Station 11 is expected to be complete in the spring of 2021.