ARGYLE — The new Argyle Volunteer Fire Department station is nearly completed, after a minor delay in construction, and officials are hoping to move into their new building by mid-November.
Fire Chief Mac Hohenberger said the new $3.5 million station will replace the current station, which he says is unsafe, outdated and too small to meet the needs of the department.
“It’s a very old-fashioned building,” he said. “It was built by the volunteers in 1973, so it’s very old and not something we should stay in for too much longer.”
Construction crews began work on the new station in August 2012 at FM407 and South Gibbons Road.
The new 15,600-square-foot station is designed to stand for at least 50 years to meet the needs of the growing region.
Currently, there are about 12,000 residents in the fire district, and according to state data, in about 50 years, that number is expected to jump to about 50,000, officials said.
“We plan on getting a lot of use out of that building,” said Hohenberger, who has been with the department for 22 years. “I won’t be here in 50 years, but it’s important to have it here before you really need it.”
The fire department is its own entity and is operated by an appointed board.
However, the town of Argyle has helped and supported the fire department’s efforts often, Town Manager Charles West said.
“We did some road and intersection improvement work for them out by the new station,” West said. “They operate separately from us, but we do support them.”
The fire department uses a combination of paid and volunteer firefighters, and there are at least four firefighters on duty at two stations, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The second station, which was built in 2009, sits along Copper Canyon Road and serves the eastern side of the district. The new station will serve the western half.
Hohenberger said the new station on FM407 was partly funded by the creation of the Denton County Emergency Service District No. 1 in 2006 and from the sale of the department’s current building.
The district allows the fire department to collect 10 cents per $100 valuation on properties in each city the department serves.
“If it weren’t for the tax, I don’t know what we would do,” Hohenberger said. “It supports almost everything we do.”
He said the tax also helps pay for the fire department’s equipment, vehicles and other fire-fighting necessities.
Hohenberger said that with the new station nearly completed, he’s hoping it will allow the department to serve the region more efficiently.
The department is responsible for providing fire, rescue and emergency medical services for the residents of Argyle, Bartonville, Copper Canyon, Corral City, Lantana and Northlake.
The department’s coverage also includes the unincorporated Denton County areas surrounding those cities.
The new station will also include an area for training employees, which Hohenberger said the current station lacks.
The current station is very limiting in terms of efficiency, and his team is excited to make the move, Hohenberger said.
“The larger station will allow us to take better care of our equipment and, hopefully, boost the morale in the department,” he said. “This new station will definitely put us in a better position than where we are now.”
JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882 and via Twitter at @JDHarden.