East Peoria breaks ground on new $3.5 million fire station

Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 6:19 PM CST
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EAST PEORIA (25 News Now) - East Peoria leaders gathered on a cold and windy Tuesday morning to break ground on a new fire station.

The station will be the city’s fourth, and it will be the furthest north. It is being built on land donated by Illinois Central College, on Centennial Drive.

“With ICC being the player that was able to give us the land, and then Senator [Dave] Koehler and Representative [Michael] Unes to help secure some funding, it all became possible,” East Peoria Fire Chief Bobby Zimmerman said.

The station will cost around $3.5 million and will be paid for with a mix of state grant money and the city’s own capital improvement funds. Chief Bobby Zimmerman says it is an overdue and needed improvement, since the city receives significant numbers of fire calls in the area.

“In our line of work, seconds do matter,” Zimmerman said. “This is going to let us get to this area of town significantly quicker than currently.”

The fire department will staff the new station around the clock with existing resources. They plan to shift a fire engine, an ambulance and firefighters to work there. East Peoria Mayor John Kahl says the day represents the culmination of years of work.

“Sometimes that’s how government works, a little slow,” Kahl said. “But we’re here today. Coldest day of the year, of course. But it’s a good day.”

The construction will be completed by local contractors, and they are targeting a completion date in Fall 2023.