JACKSONVILLE, Fla.--The city of Jacksonville is spending $2 million to build this new fire station here in Bartram Park. But upcoming budget cuts might prevent it from even opening it's doors.
Construction crews clear trees from a plot of land off Bartram Park Road. A piece of land where a brand new fire station will stand. "Everybody I think feels safer when they know that first responders are more readily available," says Steve Robinson.
Bartram springs neighbor Steve Robinson says its a station his neighborhood has been looking forward to for some time. But when we told him that the city's proposed budget is asking for 14 percent across the board cuts, which may force the new station to close before it even opens, he said "It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. I'm not really sure why they would build it if they couldn't open it," says Robinson.
So how can the city afford to build the $2.4 million station, but not have enough money to fund it? I took that question right to the city of Jacksonville. "We're really talking about 2 sets of factors. One is our capital program that's one time money, strictly used for construction costs. The budget that were dealing with is an annual operating cost," says city spokesman David DeCamp.
But DeCamp also tells me regardless of whether the doors open, he thinks it's crucial to build. "It's important for folks to see that things are going on and we can have the structure in place when we can afford to add the service," says DeCamp.
As of right now, the fire station is scheduled to open in January.
The mayor will submit his budget proposal on Monday. The city council has until the end of September to approve it.