BETTENDORF-- When it's all said and done, the State Street Bettendorf Fire Department will nearly double in size by June 1, 2018. Leaders at the department say the $1.7M expansion is needed to accommodate their growing community.
Every passing year on the force brings about change. Ask Assistant Fire Chief Steven Knorrek.
"When I first started, we had a drive-thru bay on the side that's closest to City Hall, and that disappeared," remembers Knorrek.
Right now, the change is work on new fire bays and a driveway at the department.
The fire station's not the only place growing, with two major developments in downtown. One is the Bridges lofts right next to the fire station, and then the new Acentra Credit Union that will bring in new people and new jobs according to Bettendorf Mayor Bob Gallagher.
"You'll see a lot of change yet this summer, and then you'll see some other buildings popping up this fall. And by next summer, you're going to see a really transformed downtown," says Gallagher.
A new wave of change downtown and a new fire department to go along with it.
"We're adding on three bays and two of the existing bays are being remodeled," says Knorrek.
More spaces, bigger spaces, to store taller trucks.
"We've purchased a new truck that's going to have a higher ladder, so our taller buildings will have a new truck that's downtown. Most of the buildings being built will be taller buildings," says Gallagher.
The idea is that more people will live and work in the new downtown, so Mayor Gallagher says fire expansion needs to happen sooner than later.
"Trying to stay ahead of the curve, making sure public safety is number one. So we will have that fire station up and running before people occupy the buildings," says Gallagher.
The city is changing and growing towards a more vibrant future.
"Things are really happening in Bettendorf," says Gallagher.