EDWARDSVILLE – Edwardsville Mayor Art Risavy was joined by Chief James Whiteford as well as many other fire department staff and city officials Tuesday morning to hold a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the new East Fire Station.

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The $5.1 million, 8,400-square-foot station will be located at 7407 Governors Parkway and will be the city’s third station. It comes shortly after the completion of the new-and-improved Public Safety Building on Main Street in 2017.

The Public Safety Building serves as the city’s police and fire department headquarters.

The other two stations are located at 783 NW University Drive on the campus of SIUE, and at 340 Montclaire Avenue.

Chief Whiteford explained that these existing stations are much along the north and south of the city limits, however, Edwardsville has grown tremendously from east to west, requiring a new station to keep dispatch times as quick as possible, with citizen safety being a number one priority.

“The long-term approach is to make sure our citizens are safe,” Mayor Risavy said.

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He explained that this station has been years in the making and took quite a bit of research.

Edwardsville Mayor Art Risavy (left) speaks at the grounbreaking ceremony for the city's new fire station alonside Edwardsville Fire Chief James Whiteford. “It goes back to two other administrations starting with honorable Gary Niebur. This has been a long-term plan for over two decades,” Risavy said. “We’re so appreciative that we were able to follow through on what started many many years ago to make sure we’re improving our response time, in what I consider the new growth area for Edwardsville.”

The East Fire Station, upon completion, will replace the Montclaire location. The building is much smaller and becoming outdated since it was finished in 1969. The fire department will continue its three-station strategy.

The Bank of Madison County, a division of the Bank of Belleville, partnered with the City to issue $6.87 million in general obligation bonds covering the cost of the facility, a new aerial ladder firetruck, and improvements to the Campus Fire Station.

The bonds are to be paid over 20 years through the quarter-cent public safety sales tax authorized in 2014 to support the City’s police and fire services.

The new East Fire Station will be environmentally friendly with smart features such as solar panels to offset electricity costs, and three double bays to house multiple trucks and ambulances.

The station is being built by Morrissey Construction and is expected to open in November 2023.

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