Construction beginning June 25 on Tustin EMS site

Facility expected to be ready for use in October

TUSTIN — Residents in the northwest quadrant of Osceola County may begin to feel more secure in the event of an emergency, as construction begins in a few weeks on the newest Emergency Medical Services station, located in Tustin.

The need to have a station in the quadrant has been voiced by many officials and residents in the area for more than two years and an EMS Enhancement Northwest Quadrant Ad Hoc Committee was formed to begin the project and continue to progress.

"We feel good to have the project finally come to an end," said Larry Emig, chairperson of the Osceola County Board of Commissioners. "The intent was always to look at the northwest quadrant. Now we have each quadrant covered."

The site of the station is adjacent to the fire department and library, with close access to the old elementary school which currently is used for Osceola County Commission on Aging activities. The site provides two acres and has connections to natural gas, septic and water line hookups. The site is compatible for EMS use and has emergency vehicle access. Also, an addition to the fire department could be considered if services were shared, which would also mean shared maintenance costs.

"It's such a unique spot — a perfect spot for that building," said Tustin Village Clerk Sandie Leach. "We felt it was advantageous for the village to offer a property that we own versus a property two miles outside of town."

Village council members are happy with the building plans and were pleased to offer the plot of land, Leach added.

The property was offered and purchased for $4,000. The projected building costs are estimated at $439,240 with Sajdak Contractors out of Houghton Lake, which county commissioners unanimously supported at their June 2 meeting. Sajdak Contractors also will be using local subcontractors for assistance.

The 3,200-square foot facility will feature similar amenities as the Marion station which was built last year, including a kitchen area, living area, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a laundry room and supply closet, a metal roof and a garage large enough to house two ambulances. It also will have an emergency generators to power the entire building.

With the Marion site cost at approximately $436,000, costs for the Tustin facility are on par, Emig added.

"It's perfect," said Osceola County EMS Director Jeremy Beebe about the new building. "It's been our goal to put four ambulance stations in all four corners of the county. We set it as a three- to five-year goal and we did it in under three years."

Beebe expects residents in the northwest quadrant to feel additionally secure when it comes to emergency response in their area.

"It's going to improve response times," he said. "It'll give residents that peace of mind that the services are there."

A groundbreaking for the new facility is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Thursday, June 25, and completion is expected sometime in October.