Despite approving the biggest budget in city history, $57 million for fiscal years 2021-22 and 2022-23, and approving projects like its first pump track and street resurfacing, the town of Marina is running out of funds for a critical need: a new fire station.
“Although we are in a very strong financial position, we are not in the position that we need to be to provide the services that our city needs and demands,” says city councilor Cristina Medina Dirksen.
Marina currently has two fire stations: one on Palm Avenue and one at the airport. Since Marina has expanded over the past 20 years, the Palm Fire Station is no longer in the center of town. Also, Marina doesn’t have a ladder truck — which costs around $1.5 million — or a place to shelter her, because the fire station isn’t big enough. A ladder truck has become essential with taller buildings constructed in Marina.
“We need a ladder truck because right now we have no way to get up to the second floor,” said Marina Fire Chief Doug McCoun.
Most of Marina’s recent growth is occurring on the south side of town. Residential developments such as The Dunes, Sea Haven and Abrams Park are currently serviced by the Presidio Fire Station in Monterey and fall within the Marina Fire Department’s recommended response time window of 5 minutes to 20 seconds.
But Presidio station is expected to close or relocate by mid-2023 due to the end of its lease with the Department of Defense – and if Marina’s Palm Avenue station serves those neighborhoods, firefighters estimate that would double times Answer.
Options for Marina to finance a new fire station include floating a bond measure or implementing a new tax on utility users. City staff will draft proposals to raise the estimated $17 million needed for a new station.
According to a study by Citygate Associate, commissioned jointly by Marina and Seaside in 2021, the best location for a joint station is 2nd Avenue between Lightfighter Drive and Imjin Parkway.