Wednesday, October 17 , 2018, 4:53 pm | Fair 76º

 
 
 
 

Carpinteria-Summerland Fire District Unveils Plans for New Public Safety Center

The facility would replace the aging Summerland Fire Station

Officials from the Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Protection District on Wednesday unveiled their plans to replace the Summerland Fire Station with a state-of-the-art public safety center.

The current station, located in the heart of the small beachside community, was first built in 1925. Decades later, an additional living space was added. The station is one of the oldest structures in Summerland. The fire district plans to build a new facility on land owned by the Mosquito and Vector Management District of Santa Barbara County.

“We’ve simply outgrown the current Summerland station,” Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Chief Mike Mingee said. “The station does not accommodate modern fire apparatus. Even with remodels to the garage, you just can’t fit a standard fire engine in the station.”

Recent street improvement projects in Summerland have taken away what were already minimal setbacks used to bring fire engines out of the station and not impede traffic.

“The street improvements in Summerland are just beautiful,” Mingee said. “However, our trucks block both pedestrian and vehicle traffic.”

At various community meetings, it was clear to fire district officials that Summerland residents wanted any new station to stay in Summerland. An agreement reached with the MVMD has paved the way for that wish to become a reality.

“The MVMD is happy to work with the Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Protection District on this project,” MVMD General Manager Brian Passaro said. “In these challenging times, it is imperative that local governments act cooperatively when facing difficult decisions. Recognizing that land suitable for the fire district’s needs is limited in Summerland, we are happy to relocate our district’s headquarters in order to help provide the community with a state-of-the-art public safety center.”

The 8,500-square-foot center would include a fire station, an office for law enforcement and a much-needed community meeting room seating more than 50 and overlooking the coast.

“The MVMD board of trustees has been working with the fire district for nearly a year to come to the solution presented today, and our board is in full support of this course of action,” MVMD board President Larry Fausett said.

“With approval from county planners, we hope to obtain our permits in time to apply for the 2011 round of Fire Station and Critical Infrastructure Construction federal grants in spring of next year,” said Craig Price, fire board director and Summerland resident.

The unveiling of the concept drawing at the annual Summerland Community Association picnic on Wednesday night is just the first step in making the project a reality.

“I believe that if the community wants it, it will happen,” Mingee said. “We are in the business of service, and with their support, it will happen.”

— Mike Mingee is fire chief of the Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Protection District, and Brian Passaro is the general manager of the Mosquito and Vector Management District of Santa Barbara County.

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