PONTE VEDRA, Fla. --The Nocatee community will now have a fire station. It's the the 5th fastest growing community in the county, according to John Burns Real Estate Consulting.
In an unusual move, a private entity presented St. Johns County with a check to help build the fire station
Rick van Brederode welcomes it. He and his wife have lived in Nocatee for more than 4 years.
He likes Nocatee, but he didn't like his home owners insurance bill.
"I got the bill for the next year which is this year, and it tripled," van Brederode said.
That's because the closest fire station is more than 5 miles away from his home. It's actually 8.8 miles away in Palm Valley.
van Brederode helped get the ball rolling to bring a new fire station to the master plan community, which now has 2,300 homes.
The PARC Group, which has been instrumental in building the Nocatee community, approached St. Johns County about a fire station. A county spokesman said St. Johns simply didn't have the money to build a new firehouse, but The PARC Group offered to fund it. In a rare move Tuesday, The PARC Group presented a $750,000 check for a fire station.
St. Johns County Communications Specialist Milton Soto said the total cost for the building and equipment is estimated to be $1.8 million. He said the county already had about $1.2 million for the station. Soto said The PARC Group agreed to pay in advance some impact fees, which help make up the $750,000.
Roger O'Steen with The PARC Group said, "It'll save minutes. Primarily it's save minutes in EMT service. The fact is there's not that many fires, but there's a real need for EMT."
The station will be built on Crosswater Parkway across from the Nocatee Welcome Center.
St. Johns County Fire Chief Carl Shank said, "Nocatee residents get a great response time and we get another station to help this busy north end of St. Johns County."
van Brederode looks forward to the lower home insurance rates but he said the EMT service is "way more important than that. There's a splash park, a school is going in and there's a 55 and older community down the road. There's a need for fire protection and health protection."
Soto said construction is slated to begin in the spring and will be complete in 2015.