San Benito County supervisors are taking the right proactive approach to adding another fire station to the area, and we’re fully supportive of the chosen location.

County supervisors in May selected a design for a future third fire station. In October 2015, supervisors selected a location on Rosa Morada Road off Fairview Road as the location for Fire Station #3. The new station would cover northern parts of the county, including areas such as the Four Corners by Dunneville Market.

County documents show cost estimates for a fire station with a three bay apparatus priced at $1,160,022. A fire station with two bays is estimated at $951,280 and a fire station with one bay is estimated at 735,584.

So the only burning questions realistically were the number of bays—supervisors settled on two because of cost concerns—and potential impacts to the roads.

Although it’s unfortunate that the county had to settle on something so important as fire protection with the decision on the number of bays, it’s also good to know the northern part of San Benito County will see improved fire coverage in the near future. After all, the county could have ignored the need forcoverage or minimized attention to it. In other words, two bays are better than none, and the county always has the option to add more departments or expand on current sites.

The other remaining issue at hand with the new fire station is traffic, particularly to the increasingly busy Fairview Road corridor. We recommend county officials follow up on their positive direction with the station decision and ensure that proper planning occurs to maintain a high level of safety on Fairview and other roads nearby.

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