Though the outside still looks like a fire station, the trucks inside might not look familiar.
With the opening of the new fire station in February, the City of Levelland has begun utilizing the old fire station for its water and waste water department, employees and equipment.
Erik Rejino, city manager, said the city determined that building would be a good fit for the employees because it has more space.
Formerly, the department was housed at the office space located next to the Hickory Ground Water Storage Tank on Hickory Street.
He said the office space in that building is much smaller than what is available at the old fire station.
Rejino said with a space that small, it makes it difficult to get all of the employees in the same place at the same time for meetings and other gatherings.
“It was a small building, so any time we had a safety meeting, it makes it really difficult got get them all in the same room at the same time,” Rejino said.
Along with having more space for water and wastewater employees, Rejino said the new building will be convenient in the case of a whole public works meeting.
The Public Works Department includes water and wastewater, sanitation and streets.
“Anytime we need to get the Public Works Department together for anything, we can do that now at the old fire station,” Rejino said. “It’s tricky as far as trying to be able to get them all to come to city hall; it’s hard to get them all together and that’s is the ideal situation.”
Now, the department’s primary building will be the old fire station, located on the southwest corner of 5th Street and Avenue G.
He said the department will now be able to house some equipment inside bays, whereas they were having to keep it outside.
“They only had one actual truck bay at the old building and now they’re able to store some equipment now that they have some covered awnings and such,” Rejino said. “This is much better for our equipment.”
However, the office on Hickory Street will still be utilized by the department’s and public works’ supervisors.
“Our SCATA system is still at that office so in essence they will still take orders from that office,” Rejino said.
Employees will seldom return to the Hickory Street office, though, unless picking up equipment, Rejino said.
“They take most of their service calls on radios out of their truck so they seldom report back to the actual work station unless they’re picking up equipment,” Rejino said.
Secondly, Rejino said several city departments will utilize the old fire station as a place for more storage.
He said the police department hopes to store some equipment at the old station and the Main Street program has some decorations that city hall has run out of room to store.
“City hall is pretty limited on storage right now,” Rejino said. “It’s just more storage for us, too.”
Rejino said by being able to utilize the old fire station for some other departments and other city needs, the City of Levelland will be able to delay new infrastructure for departments.
“By being able to use the old fire station, it has bought us some time in having to build anything for other departments,” Rejino said. “At this time, we’ll utilize that space and get some longer life out of our vehicles and equipment by being able to cover it and keep some of it indoors.”
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