Construction on the sixth fire station for Travis County Emergency Services District No. 2 is scheduled to begin this year.

Located at the corner of Weiss Lane and Wolf Pack Drive, the $7.2 million station will be 13,122 square feet and have three double drive-thru bays.

ESD 2 Chief Nicholas Perkins said the district continues to see unprecedented increases in demand for services, represented in large part by a 29% increase in total call volume—20% for ambulances—so far compared against 2020.

"This housing boom we just went through, and are still going through, has exponential effects on EMS and fire services demand," Perkins said in an Oct. 4 email. "It's not a simple 1 for 1 increase like you may think. As more people move into the area, the demand is exponential for our services."

As more people move to the area east of SH 130, more emergency response resources are needed, Perkins said.

The station is anticipated to have a ladder truck, a brush truck and potentially a squad pickup truck, but it is uncertain if it will also house an ambulance, Perkins said, referring to an ongoing situation between ESD 2, its new overlay district ESD 17, and the city of Pflugerville.

For the last several months, Pflugerville officials and ESD 2 officials have at times clashed over the cost of emergency medical services and advanced life support services.

Most recently, Pflugerville City Council in September made moves toward approving a franchise requirement for EMS that would give the city more control over the governance of emergency response resources in its jurisdiction. A second reading of that ordinance will likely come before council for official approval Oct. 12

"While the future of ambulance service in the city of Pflugerville is still uncertain, it would be our desire to place an ambulance there if we have the funding to support it," Perkins said.

With regard to funding of the new station, the fiscal year 2021-22 budget for ESD 2 includes a lump sum for capital outlay for construction of $7.1 million, and Perkins said that is offset by borrowed funds used to pay those costs.

Information from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation states construction will begin Dec. 1, but Perkins said that depends on whether or not ESD 2 can finalize permitting approval from the city of Pflugerville in time. Should that happen, he said the TDLR timeline to begin Dec. 1, 2021 and finish Dec. 1, 2022 should be fairly accurate.