It was a busy week for local fire departments as Dakota City and South Sioux City held grand openings for their new fire stations Sunday and Monday, respectively.
Dakota City's building cost $2.2 million and was paid for mostly through a county-wide half-cent sales tax that was voted on in November 2014.
The new fire station has eight drive through bays and is approximately twice the square footage of the old building. The kitchen has new stoves as well as an ice machine and walk-in cooler. The upstairs is primarily storage. It was built so that department could have living quarters if paid staff is ever hired or a paramedic needs to be housed, according to Alyssa Silhacek, Dakota City city administrator.
“It's really a night and day difference between the old station and this one,” said Clint Rasmussen, Dakota City fire chief. “We're grateful to the community for voting for the half-cent sales tax. This is their fire station, we just get to use it.”
The Dakota City Fire Department currently has 26 members.
South Sioux City's $2.6 million fire station consists of 12,225 square feet and encompasses four standard drive through bays, wash bays, office space and sleeping areas.
Representatives from the State Capitol, Lt. Governor Mike Foley, Senator Joni Albrecht, Senator Ben Sasse made remarks during the grand opening program that was widely attended.
A donated piece of recovered steel from one of New York City's twin towers was also dedicated during the Sept. 11 ceremony in a speech by assistant fire chief Matthew Rector.
“This is an exciting day for the South Sioux City Fire Department and the South Sioux City community,” said Clint Merithew, South Sioux City fire chief.
“It's like Christmas every day seeing this place,” said Aaron Merithew, South Sioux City firefighter.