PITTSBURG (BCN) — A Pittsburg fire station that closed three years ago will reopen on Jan. 1, Contra Costa Fire Chief Jeff Carmen announced Wednesday. Station 87, located at West Leland Road and John Henry Johnson Parkway, was first opened in 2000.
It was shuttered in 2013 after voters rejected a parcel tax that would have benefited the fire district, according to the office of Contra Costa County Supervisor Federal Glover.
“Thanks to the partnership with the City of Pittsburg and an improved economy, ConFire can fill a gap that has existed since the station was shuttered three years ago,” Glover said in a statement.
Two other fire stations, one in Bay Point and one in Pittsburg, absorbed Station 87’s calls in the western end of Pittsburg and parts of Bay Point while it was closed.
“Without Station 87, fire services took longer to reach residents and businesses on the western half of the city,” Pittsburg Mayor Ben Johnson said in a statement.
“We needed it to come back, and we’re pleased the county and the fire district are able to restore this critical service to Pittsburg,” Johnson said.
In the last three years, ConFire has cut costs by partnering with a private ambulance service and seeking new revenue to support its operations. The economic recovery has also helped, according to Glover’s office.
“With Prop. 13 limiting our property tax, which funds firefighting services, we need to find other funding sources,” Glover said. “Pittsburg’s special district fees is one way of making up the gap in what is collected and the market increases in wages and equipment.”
Pittsburg’s City Council recently approved a new Fire Services Community Facilities District, which will collect a fee from every newly constructed home in the city to support fire services.
Contra Costa County is looking at duplicating the fee. Pittsburg has supported police services with a similar system for the last 10 years, and is the only city in the county to support fire services in this way.