Marion County Commission flips fire station rebuilds 


A new firetruck is shown at Marion County Fire Rescue Station 28 in Rolling Greens in Ocala, Fla. on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. The engine was purchased entirely with funding raised through the Penny Sales Tax. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2020.

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Posted February 8, 2021 | By Brendan Farrell, Ocala Gazette

A new Marion County Fire Rescue truck is shown in this October file photo. The Marion County Commission recently approved a plan to switch the order of when two fire stations are built. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 

The Marion County Commission recently agreed to swap the years of funding for rebuilds of the county’s fire rescue stations No. 11 and No. 2.

Originally, the funding for the rebuild of station No. 2 was set for the fiscal year 2021, while the rebuild of station No. 11 was set for the fiscal year 2022. However, the site for station No. 2, located at 2189 NE 180th Lane in Citra, is not ready for construction quite yet.

James Lucas, Marion County Fire Rescue’s public information officer, said the land for the station hasn’t been voted on by the Citra Improvement Society.

“We were involved with the state to get the property next to the (Florida State) Fire College for Station 11, and we were working with the Citra Improvement Society because they have the land for Station 2,” Lucas said. “In this case, the state moved faster than the Citra Improvement Society, so that’s why they’re switching it.”

Fire Station 11, situated at 12250 NW Gainesville Rd. near Reddick, is just down the road from the Florida State Fire College. Lucas says new amenities will include cancer-prevention initiatives (such as a direct-exhaust capture system) and increased shower capacity to aid with decontamination, like coming back to the station after responding to a COVID-19-related call.

“It will provide for, you know, a faster response, a lot of what Station 11 does is on the interstate because (of) their close proximity to 75,” Lucas said. “It will give our firefighters a better place to live.”