New fire stations don’t come around every day. But for the city of Chula Vista, they came twice in a month.
“Oh! Thrilled!” exclaimed City Councilwoman Jill Galvez as she stood inside the spacious kitchen of the new Fire Station No. 3.
Galvez helped dedicate the $8.9 million building Thursday, alongside Chula Vista mayor Mary Casillas Salas, Fire Chief Harry Muns and Councilman John McCann.
“This is incredibly exciting,” McCann said.
Thursday’s dedication of Station No. 3 on Naples Street followed the dedication of Station No. 5 on Orange Avenue, less than a month ago.
“Our fire houses were literally falling apart,” Galvez said with a sigh.
The South Bay city paid for the two new stations with revenue generated by Measure P. Chula Vista voters approved the measure in 2016, which increased the city’s sales tax rate by a half-cent and expires after a decade. That money was earmarked for infrastructure improvements.
“I’m always skeptical when you raise taxes,” McCann said. “But the city has done a good job of making sure that the revenue has solely gone for infrastructure.”
McCann and Galvez both listed a number of items the city still wants to fix before the sales tax expires in 2027. Potholes, roads, storm drains and several aging buildings made the list.
In the meantime, Galvez said the city will bank on revenue coming from its ambitious Bayfront Master Plan and other new developments around the city to make up for any shortfall when the sales-tax increase goes away. The bayfront is expected to be bolstered by a billion-dollar resort hotel and convention center along San Diego Bay. McCann said he hoped ground would be broken on the massive hotel by the end of the year.