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Jacksonville, FL (September 23, 2020) – As we reach the one-year mark since the temporary Fire Station #63 began operations off Gate Parkway near Burnt Mill Road, Councilman Becton joined Mayor Lenny Curry and JFRD Chief Powers to announce that dirt is officially being moved for the permanent location of Fire Station #63. A ground breaking ceremony was held on Wednesday, September 23rd at 9:30am at the 2.72 acres vacant site that sits only steps away from where Crew #63 temporarily resides.

 Council Member Becton and JFRD Chief Powers announced the opening of the temporary station during a press conference back in September of 2019.  The extra-large mobile home across from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) building is the temporary living quarters for the crew and incorporates a butler building type structure for the engine company and rescue crew, but it won’t be long till the first responders are moving in and taking calls for service from the new station.

The celebration ceremony took place at 9:30am at 6530 Gate Parkway, which is just north of the mixed-use development, The Palms and across from the Hines, Southside Quarter development. Mayor Lenny Curry was in attendance alongside JFRD Chief Powers, and Councilman Becton.

 Fire Station #63 is a very important addition to our public safety network in which Councilman Becton dedicated years of work to find available property in the right location that would service an area lacking local fire and safety protection. While the permanent station was under design, a temporary station was planned, built and staffed to service the needs of the area in the meantime, and has been a success in protecting the surrounding community and neighborhoods.

 During the groundbreaking, Councilman Becton shared the following:

 “Today, I am excited to be here with Mayor Curry and Chief Powers in having this opportunity to Break Ground on Permanent Fire Station #63, right here in District 11 and centrally located within this growing area of Gate Parkway and Baymeadows East.

 As I stated last night, in passing our city’s $1.3 billion dollar budget, Public Safety is Priority #1. As a result of that commitment, this permanent station for our first responders will reflect, the best and most up-to-date facilities that can be provided, to deliver the response times and support that our surrounding neighborhoods and communities deserve.

 It was just 9 months ago that I would like to recall, that NEW temporary Station #63 was instrumental in saving millions of dollars of commercial property and nearby residential homes, by being the first on-scene for a massive, 3-Alarm fire. The Fusion Apartment fire ultimately required 110 firefighters, 45 apparatus, 14 engines and 7-ladder trucks to fight that blaze. If it was not for the men and women of Station #63, it could have been much worse. It will be with the completion of this new facility that those same first responders will have a permanent home.

In closing, As I look back at the many partners who have helped get us to this accomplishment, I want to first thank Mayor Lenny Curry and everyone in his administration, along with the many team members within JFRD who were involved with this project, and to Ash Properties who fit us into their development plans for which this property was made available.

I also would like to say “Thank You” to my past fellow Council Members who passed Bill 2018-459, approving the funding, as well.

 Again, for this long overdue but big accomplishment for which will continue to save lives and property, I am excited this morning, to Break Ground on permanent Station #63! THANK YOU!”

 

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By Tiziana Onstead, District 11 Executive Council Assistant