DEFUNIAK SPRINGS Fla. (WMBB) — The city’s police and firefighters will be in their new home sooner than expected.
Workers have already started demolishing the old county health department, where the new emergency services facility will be built, they are making room for the new DeFuniak Springs Police Department. This project has turned into a community effort.
“We were scheduled for October 1, and got a text Monday morning that it had already started,” said DeFuniak Springs City Marshal and Chief James Hurley.
Out with the old and in with the new, Walton County officials paved the way for the city of DeFuniak Springs by tearing down the vacant building for free. This allows Hurley to better prepare.
“We are looking for grant funding and other opportunities that will help us assist and not put the burden directly back on the city,” said Hurley.
The new facility will combine the city’s police and fire station, and the fire department Chief Ross Sheffield is ready for a change as well.
“Right now we are limited on what we can actually put in our fire station because we are there for 24 hours,” said Sheffield.
Both chiefs are working out the finalized layout. The new space will allow for an increase in staffing and new equipment.
“With some shared common area we can both utilize the center with training rooms and kitchens,” said Hurley.
One of the big concerns is traffic on Highway 83. But Hurley said there is talk about widening the highway to four lanes or adding an additional roadway.