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Fourth station finished, ready for staffing
Years of planning culminated in the grand opening of Ceres' fourth fire station on Monday.

The new station, located at the corner of Mitchell and Fowler, will be fully staffed by December.

Fire Chief Bryan Nicholes said the new station will "shave at least a couple minutes off our response time, which is a lot" in the eastern half of Ceres.

The station will cover all of Eastgate, out to Faith Home Road, the Mitchell Road strip and both the Las Casitas and Voyager's Cove mobilehome parks where there is a larger percentage of older residents who occasionally need medical aid.

The new 6,800 square foot two-bay station features a mission-style architecture intended to blend in more with the existing commercial designs along Mitchell Road.

"It looks good for the community," commented Dan Davis, who worked years on planning the facility before he retired as Ceres' fire chief. "I think it blends well with the neighborhood."

The $2.27 million station includes two bays for equipment, offices, a training room and living quarters for firefighters. The design includes windows in a high ceiling room for an energy-efficient light source. The station is designed for sleeping accommodations for four firefighters as were stations #1 and #3.

Annual operations costs should run approximately $1.1 million, which includes salary, utilities, and equipment costs.

With the next phase of development to take place south of Service Road west of Highway 99, the city is beginning to plan for a fifth fire station in the area of Service and Moffet. The rate of development will be a factor in when the station is constructed.