Hiawatha To Add New Fire and Rescue Facilities [PHOTOS]
The Hiawatha Fire Department has outgrown the state-of-the-art facility that currently houses them at 60 10th Ave.
Planning for a second fire station has been in the works for over 10 years and now, according to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, it will happen, likely beginning sometime in 2023.
The current and only fire station in Hiawatha was built in 1970 and remodeled in 2000. A referendum to build a second facility went to vote in 2015 but failed by less than one percent. The new facility would be located at 1550 Stamy Road on the city's north side and be funded by Local Option Sales and Service Tax (LOSST) to avoid putting it to another referendum and tax increase.
Hiawatha's fire department includes 10 full-time, up to 5 part-time, and 38 volunteer staff. Once the new fire station is built, the current one will be remodeled, and a new dorm/bedroom facility for firefighters will also be built. Chief Matt Powers said:
Our town is growing to the north and west and without this new location, we don’t have that easier access to those new areas. We will be able to easily get to Tower Terrace and Edgewood to those new developments.
Two stations will also improve response time, which Powers said is very important. A four-minute response time is currently only possible for 65 percent of the city, but with additional facilities, that will improve to 90 percent of the community. The entire three-facility project is expected to be completed in 2024.
As a resident of Hiawatha, I am a fan of the town's growth while maintaining its suburban feel. There is nothing more important than improving a community's public safety and this will give them the additional resources for that growth.