Hernando County officials plan to break ground at 10 a.m. Thursday on a $400,220 fire station that will serve about 7,500 residents in the Ridge Manor area.
The new building, on Cedric Road off Cortez Boulevard, just west of U.S. 301, will replace an aging station now housed in a mobile home. Firetrucks and equipment will be kept inside a closed bay, rather than under an open garage as they are now, east Hernando fire Chief Danny Roberts said.
The ceremony will include speeches by Grace Tadlock, vice president of the Ridge Manor Property Owners Association, and John Shoppa, president of the community center.
The public is invited; the property owners association will provide refreshments.
County commissioners approved the new station last year, which will be paid for mainly from fire fees charged to east Hernando property owners. Commissioners increased fees in east Hernando from $45 per year to $73.70 per year after Roberts said the increase was needed to maintain service and keep insurance rates from climbing.
In addition to helping pay for the station, the extra money was used to hire three firefighters so everyone could respond to calls with a partner.
Some equipment also has been replaced.