Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120
jvargo@cityofperris.org

Redevelopment At Work: New Downtown Firestation

Exterior look at the new $3.5 million public safety complex, which will be paid for with Redevelopment Agency funding
Exterior look at the new $3.5 million public safety complex, which will be paid for with Redevelopment Agency funding.

The City of Perris continues using its Redevelopment Agency dollars on sorely needed projects that will enhance the safety and quality of life for residents, business owners and visitors.

The latest example of RDA funding at work took place this week, then Perris officials unveiled plans this week to build a new $3.5 million fire Downtown fire station and emergency operations c enter to replace inadequate facilities and improve fire protection, medical response times and communications during a major earthquake or flood.

The new station will be constructed on a vacant lot just south of San Jacinto Avenue between F and G streets, very close to the Rio Ranch Market shopping center, the Stretch Forming Corporation headquarters—businesses also drawn to Perris by redevelopment funding.

The new location is across the street from the Perris Police Headquarters complex, within walking distance of City Hall and close to historic D Street and Interstate 215.

Artist rendering of the overhead look of the planned Perris Fire Station and Emergency Operations Center on San Jacinto Avenue between F and G streets
Artist rendering of the overhead look of the planned Perris Fire Station and Emergency Operations Center on San Jacinto Avenue between F and G streets.

“I am thrilled that our firefighters will have a place to call their own,”  said Perris Mayor Pro-Tem Joanne Evans, who worked for CalFire for many years. “It is badly needed. Our wonderful crew of firefighters deserve a good home.”

Evans said RDA funds are meant to improve infrastructure, remove blight, attract businesses, create jobs and reinvigorate a City’s economy.

“I think the new fire station and emergency operations center are a poster child for RDA,” she said. “They are not just going to provide assistance to a single business or people living nearby but to everyone in Perris.

Work on the 8,000-square-foot fire station and 1,200-square-foot emergency operations center is expected to begin in August and be completed within nine months. Funding comes from the City’s Redevelopment Agency, money specifically set aside for community development projects.

City officials hailed the new public safety complex.

Perris City firefighters currently work out of CalFire’s Riverside County headquarters at San Jacinto and C Street. Access to that building is restricted by narrow roads leading to the station. Perris firefighters must share that building with CalFire contemporaries.

Plans call for the new fire station to hold two vehicle bays big enough to house the City’s ladder truck, fire engines and other emergency vehicles. The façade of the structure will be constructed in the California Mission style, similar to that of the City Council chambers.

In keeping with the City’s commitment to “go green”  by using alternative energy methods, the new station will include solar panels on its roof and will make use of natural lighting.

Using alternative power shows Perris is well ahead of other cities in helping preserve the environment, said City Councilman Mark Yarbrough.

“We think green, it’s automatic,” he said. “The new fire station will be state-of-the-art that will allow firefighters to be more productive and efficient. It will allow them to respond to calls quickly. In this business, seconds are like minutes and minutes are like hours.”

The emergency operations center will be constructed right next to the fire station as its own free-standing structure. The emergency operations center will allow Perris to install communication and computer lines, store emergency supplies and serve as a training site for citizens and professionals.

The emergency operations center replaces the City’s outdated one in the Senior Center on D Street. During an emergency, authorities believe seniors would flock to the center, hampering the City’s ability to respond to the crisis.

Other City Council members agreed the new complex marks a major upgrade to Perris’ ability to provide public safety and emergency services. They emphasized that moving ahead with the fire station during tough economic times shows the City’s commitment to public safety and improving life for Perris residents, business owners and visitors. The City is in the midst of several major construction projects, including a new interchange at I-215 and Fourth Street, a new sports complex known as Big League Dreams, several new shopping centers, a new park and apartment complex on D Street and continued rehabilitation of the Perris Theatre and other historically significant buildings Downtown. Many of those projects also are funding with RDA money.

“Let’s keep it moving forward,” Perris Mayor Daryl Busch said of the fire station/emergency operations center. “It will be a great asset to our community.”

City Councilwoman Rita Rogers said plans for the new center “look great.”

City Councilman Al Landers said pushing forward on construction plans shows that Perris’ elected leaders and staff are committed to keeping Perris moving forward. He said the City has used its RDA funding judiciously on projects that impact the most people, just like the new fire station/emergency operations center.

“This City Council and staff are of one mind when it comes to enhancing life in Perris and keeping our residents as safe as possible,” Landers said.