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Jacksonville, FL (July 27, 2022) — Council Member Danny Becton, along with Mayor Lenny Curry, Council President Terrance Freeman, and JFRD Chief Keith Powers officially declared Fire Station #74 operational at a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony this morning.  It was just last September that the city had the groundbreaking ceremony within ETown, near the 9B / ETown Parkway Interchange. Now, nearly 10 months later, Fire Station #74 is ready to serve the needs of this rapidly growing section of District 11. This station, only accomplished by the hard work and advocacy by Council Member Becton, where he was able to get this land donated, funding allocated and a plan design that fits into the surrounding community to fill a critical need for the area.

Funding for Fire Station 74 was secured through the passage of last year’s 2020-21 budget, providing $5.5 million for the buildout and furnishings. In building this station, it will support emergency calls and fire responses from Baymeadows to the North, Nocatee to the South, include properties within Flagler Center and along the corridor of Philips Hwy traveling South from 9B. The property itself was a donation provided by the Davis Family as a result of discussions and meetings between Council Member Becton and the family’s representative, The Parc Group.

The need for a new fire station in this area became more urgent after a 4-Alarm fire in the Spring of 2020 in the Baymeadows East area, where a new multi-family development caught fire and caused millions of dollars in damages.  Due to this event, it became more pressing to get this station built as it was obvious that new communities were just at risk, as older ones.  On May 22, 2020, after months of discussion and looking to locate the perfect site, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed, and the deal was set. In addition to the land donation, the Parc Group also donated their time, design team and the engineering to help speed up getting this new facility under construction sooner rather than later.

In his remarks, Chief Powers stated, “New Fire Station #74 is a $5.5M investment in public safety. As you can see, this facility looks different from any other JFRD fire station. It has been designed to aesthetically fit into the theme of the ETown community. ETown and the surrounding area was in dire need of a fire station to reduce response times and lower insurance rates for the residences and commercial businesses of this rapidly growing area. So again, I want to thank Mayor Curry, Council President Freeman, Council Member Becton, and the entire City Council for their collaborative effort to ensure the safety of ETown and our great city.”

In his opening remarks, Mayor Lenny Curry stated that, “Once again, we are here to open another Fire Station in Jacksonville.  As Chief Powers said it best – JFRD is the best in the country.  We recognized seven years ago that our First Responders needed new equipment and new facilities to perform their job to the best of their ability. Fire Station #74 is another testament to this promise,” Mayor Curry concluded.

Council Member Becton, in his remarks, stated:

“Today, I am excited to be here with Mayor Curry, Council President Freeman, and Chief Powers in having this opportunity to welcome and open our newest and most advanced Fire Station to date, Fire Station #74, here in ETown.

As I have stated on many occasions, Public Safety is priority #1 as we, year after year, craft our city’s budget. As a result of that commitment, this station for our first responders will reflect the best and most up-to-date facilities that are available, delivering the best response times, and support for our surrounding neighborhoods from Baymeadows to the north and Nocatee to the south.

The journey to get us to this point has had many partners that I would like to thank. The list includes: Mayor Lenny Curry and everyone in his administration, the many team members within JFRD, and the construction professionals at Auld & White who turned our design into reality.

It is also with great gratitude that I thank the Davis family for their generous donation of land along with their business partner, the PARC Group, who helped in providing the early design resources to get this project moving forward and accomplishing this project in record time.

To our first responders who will make this new station their home, it is with “God Speed” that we wish you well and great success in the work that you do and the work that you will do to save lives and property, serving the needs of your new neighbors throughout these surrounding communities of the Southside. Thank you again for your service and your dedication to your profession for which we are grateful.

In closing, on behalf of the entire City Council, I again want to say thank you to everyone involved on this very exciting occasion, to cut the ribbon, open this station and celebrate the new home for the First Responders of Fire Station #74!”

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By Joe Johnson, District 11 Executive Council Assistant and CM Danny Becton.