BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Bay County officials are making plans to improve fire protection for some of the growing unincorporated areas.

Commissioners have approved the construction of two new fire stations, off Highway 388 and Highway 20.

“Both of these stations are going in areas where we’re we have growth and we’re expecting more growth and so the commission is trying to plan and work with our partners to put some facilities in place to be able to assist the citizens in that area, make sure we have coverage, both ems as well as fire,” Bay County Commissioner Doug Moore said.

The West Bay Fire Station will be between Titi Road and State Road 79, right near Latitude Margaritaville.

“St. Joe Company is going to build a fire station for us and be reimbursed by the county through impact fire impact fee credits,” Bay County Chief Infrastructure Officer Keith Bryant said.

Construction will cost approximately $2 million and should be completed in late 2024.

“That fire station is going to be a sprung design that’s constructed really quickly and so that’s why we like that, it’s really good cost savings and a fast construction time,” Bryant said.

The Fountain Fire Station is being funded through a $3.225 million USDA Rural Development Grant. It will be located just east of 231. The brick-and-mortar station is just one piece of a much bigger project.

“We will have a community center there, we’re planning on putting this fire station there with this grant and being able to have a sheriff’s substation there so it’s really going to be a place, along with park and rec area, in that area to be able to help the citizens of Bay County in the northeastern section of the county,” Moore said.

The station should be finished in early 2025.

County officials said the new Highway 20 station will reduce response times from 20 minutes to 5 minutes.