State Senator Melissa Hurtado presents Farmersville with $7 million check to get construction started on the city’s new fire station
FARMERSVILLE – Senator Melissa Hurtado secured another multi-million dollar check for a city in the Central Valley, this time to support the construction of a new fire station for the community of Farmersville.
On Oct. 25, Senator Hurtado (D-Bakersfield) presented Farmersville with a $7 million dollar check to fund the city’s new station. It will be entirely new to the city, which has never had a fire station constructed specifically to house fire personnel. The check was presented by the senator only feet away from the station’s future home located on 881 Farmersville Blvd.
“Because of [Hurtado’s] strong and persistent efforts, the state funding that has been approved will allow us to build a fire station that’s fully functioning at a centralized site in our city,” Farmersville Mayor Paul Boyer said following a ceremonial check presentation.
Boyer recalled a time in the 1980s and 1990s when the city had the outdated fire station down the road from the site of the upcoming station. He said at the time, the station had two old fire engines, and the station’s ceiling was too low for the trucks to properly fit into the garages. He said the firefighters had to take measures like lowering the tire pressure on the trucks just to get them in the building.
Boyer said the city has come a long way since then and things did start to improve when the Farmersville Volunteer Fire Department was moved to Farmersville City Hall. Although the city has made the best of the situation, he said the building, which is on the edge of the city, was never built for the purpose of housing the fire department.
Farmersville Police Chief Mario Krstic said the new fire station is 37 years overdue. He said when the station was being discussed some time recently, he found the plans for the station which dated back to the year 1985 for a station on the same site. Krstic said the construction of the station would not have been possible without this level of support.
“This is hopes and dreams turning into a reality for the city of Farmersville,” Krstic said.
At the event, Hurtado said the inspiration for helping communities like Farmersville came about a little over four years ago, before she ran for senate. As a former council member for Sanger, she said she wanted to help people struggling with poverty, and after she joined the Sanger police and fire department for a ride along, she found that the departments were in bad shape. She said she eventually participated in 10 ride-alongs in 2018 within the state’s 14th Senate District, and learned that a lot of departments in small town communities were in a similar state.
“In communities across the senate district, police departments were in bad shape, and some small communities had it much worse than others,” Hurtado said.
Hurtado said Farmersville was one of the communities she noticed that needed more financial support to ensure the city could adequately provide public safety. As a daughter of immigrants, she said she understands the need to provide those additional resources to public safety workers at a local level.
“The reason why public safety is so important is because of the foundation of a democracy,” Hurtado said. “People want to feel like they’re in a safe community, and if you don’t support that foundation, it collapses.”