Loves Park looking into third fire station

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LOVES PARK, Ill. (WIFR) -- Loves Park city leaders are working to finalize plans for a third fire station on the east side of the city.

Fire Department leaders say the response time for that side of the city is not acceptable at this time.

A third station is something Loves Park city leaders have discussed for years. In the past month, Mayor Gary Jury and fire department leaders have decided to take a serious look at the possibility.

"We're working on finding locations and working on the cost of a building and what we need for equipment," said Jury.

The city has two existing stations, one on Grand Avenue and the other on Windsor Road. However, the closest fire station to the southeast boundary of the city is seven and a half miles away.

"When you look at weather like last night, and you're taking a 50,000 or 70,000 pound fire truck down the streets, you can't travel fast, so we're talking 20 plus minutes to the far east side of our city," said Loves Park Fire Department Assistant Chief Jerry Wiltfang.

While both existing stations are out of date, and Jury says new equipment is needed, he believes adding a new station for safety reasons is still a number one priority for the department.

"When you have Sportscore Two out there when you have thousands of visitors and guests each weekend, we need to look into that and makes sure we are able to provide the right goods and service," said Jury.

"We've talked about it for a long time, but now we're going to have something concrete that we can present to the citizens of Loves Park," said Jury.

City and fire department leaders have not yet decided on an exact cost or completion date for the third station. However, Jury hopes it will ideally be finished in around two years.