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

Perris Breaks Ground on New Fire Station

Perris City officials Thursday broke ground on a new fire station that will improve public safety, revitalize the Downtown business district, continue expansion of the community’s civic center complex and reinforces the positive use of redevelopment dollars to enhance the quality of life in Perris.

The state-of-the-art facility, on a 1.5-acre site at F Street and San Jacinto Avenue, will move Perris firefighters from a cramped and crowed facility on C Street, which the City shares with state firefighting resources.

The $3.5 million, 10,000-square foot station includes living and training quarters for firefighters, two bays that will hold an engine and ladder truck and has been designed with green technology to reduce energy costs.

An 1,100-square-foot emergency operations center will be constructed next to the fire station. That will be used in case of an earthquake, flooding or other disaster. In addition, public safety officials envision the fire station/emergency operations center as a place to train Perris residents in first-aid and CPR classes.

Perris City Manager Richard Belmudez and Riverside County Supervisor Marion Ashley discuss the new fire station complex, which also includes an emergency operations center
Perris City Manager Richard Belmudez and Riverside County Supervisor Marion Ashley discuss the new fire station complex, which also includes an emergency operations center.

Earthmovers and bulldozers began excavating the site even before Wednesday’s official ground-breaking.  The new complex is scheduled for completion in May.

“This is a great day for the City of Perris,” said Mayor Daryl Busch. “This station is very needed, it will improve response times to emergencies, gives firefighters what they need to do their jobs better and it is another example of economic development taking place in Perris.”

Busch praised the efforts of City staff for working under a tight deadline so that the ground-breaking could take place.

Funding for the project will come from specially designated redevelopment funds set aside for such project.
The State of California has threatened to take away city redevelopment funding to solve its own budget woes. So the City

Council and staff had to meet a compressed timeline in order to get designated redevelopment money in the pipeline and keep the project moving.

Perris Mayor Daryl Busch: “Another example of economic development taking place in Perris.”
Perris Mayor Daryl Busch: “Another example of economic development taking place in Perris.”

“Without redevelopment funding, this project would have been delayed for years,” Busch said.

Riverside County Supervisor Marion Ashley, a Perris resident, said the fire station/emergency operations center continues development of a Perris Civic Center complex, which also includes City Hall and City Council Chambers, the Cesar E. Chavez Public Library, Perris Police Headquarters and a community medical center. He praised the City Council for its vision of developing the Downtown for the betterment of all residents, business owners and visitors.

“You are seeing history being made here today,” Ashley said. “There will be a new and modern urban fire station in Downtown Perris. It’s the perfect spot for it. There is now quite a core of public-safety services in Downtown Perris.”

Perris City Manager Richard Belmudez said the City continues work on other projects, including a new sewer system for its Enchanted Heights neighborhood and a new interchange at Interstate 215 and Fourth Street. The City this week also unveiled a long-term vision for the art deco Perris Theatre. The City  continues building its Mercado Apartment complex and will cut the ribbon on its Big League Dreams sports complex early next year.

Perris City Clerk Judy Haughney, City Councilman Mark Yarbrough, Mayor Pro-Tem Joanne Evans, City Councilwoman Rita Rogers and Mayor Daryl Busch dig in to break ground at the new station
Perris City Clerk Judy Haughney, City Councilman Mark Yarbrough, Mayor Pro-Tem Joanne Evans, City Councilwoman Rita Rogers and Mayor Daryl Busch dig in to break ground at the new station.

Belmudez said the City has developed an outstanding relationship with CalFire and Riverside County, which helped make the new station possible.

“This is a really exciting day for us but it would not have happened without leadership from those agencies,” Belmudez said.
About 100 people gathered to watch the ground-breaking ceremony. Those included Perris residents, Planning and Public Safety Commissioners, business owners and representatives from school districts and state elected officials. John Hawkins, chief of CalFire in Riverside County addressed the group and Perris Battalion Chief Justin McGough was among local firefighters in attendance.

The new fire station will be designated as Station 1 in the CalFire system in Riverside County, the same designation held by the existing station on San Jacinto Avenue and C Street. The new station will hold the administrative offices of the Perris staff.

“Perris is our City,” Hawkins said. “We’re proud to be here.”

City Councilman Mark Yarbrough: “Residents want top-flight public safety.”
City Councilman Mark Yarbrough: “Residents want top-flight public safety.”

McGough said the new fire station is resistant to earthquakes and meets the Americans with Disabilities Act standards. He said firefighters are eager to move into the new location.

“We’re talking about moving firefighters from a 60-year-old facility to one that is brand new and state-of-the-art,” McGough said. “I am excited for City firefighters and I am impressed that the top priority in Perris is public safety. It is evident that City leaders place public safety as their No. 1 priority.”

Perris Mayor Pro-Tem Joanne Evans, a retired firefighter, exchanged greetings with several current firefighters prior to the ground-breaking. She said the new station “could not be in a more appropriate place,” given its close proximity to businesses along Fourth Street, D Street, Perris Boulevard and I-215.

“I am just thrilled,” she said. “It’s like Christmas.”

City Councilwoman Rita Rogers said Perris is committed to top-of-the-line public safety services.

“Perris continues on its progressive track to offering the very best services to our residents,” she said. “Nothing is more important to our residents than public safety. This is a fantastic day for our City.”

Perris Mayor Pro-Tem Joanne Evans, a retired firefighter, said she is thrilled the new fire station is coming to the City
Perris Mayor Pro-Tem Joanne Evans, a retired firefighter, said she is thrilled the new fire station is coming to the City.

City Councilman Mark Yarbrough said Perris prides itself on the ability to work with outside agencies to bring needed projects and services home. The new fire station is just another example of such cooperation, he said.

“This City recognizes that its residents want top-flight public safety,” he said. “We got this project underway quickly and with funds that are designated for such projects. When it comes to meeting the expectations of our residents, the City of Perris doesn’t waste time, or money.”

Perris City Councilman Al Landers was unable to attend Wednesday’s ground-breaking but received kudos for his input and support of the project during the concept and planning stage.
Other redevelopment projects currently underway in Perris include: