PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Despite Philadelphia’s ongoing budget issues (see related story), the Tacony section of the city is getting a new fire station.

Groundbreaking ceremonies were held today at the site, at Magee Avenue and Keystone Street.

The former Engine Company 38 had to be demolished to make way for a new I-95 ramp and improvements along nearby Cottman Avenue. But Councilwoman Joan Krajewski made sure that money was set aside in the capital budget to replace it.

“We fought for it to no end,” she said today.  “We put it in our capital budget and we wouldn’t touch it.”

Soon, a new Engine 38 firehouse, adjacent to Disston Park, is expected to be in service by December 2012.

It’s a nearly $7-million, “LEED Silver” certified station, according to fire commissioner Lloyd Ayers.

“We expect that 18 months after putting that shovel in the ground, that we’ll have wheels rolling from a brand new firehouse,” he said.

Firefighters from the old engine company were assigned to other details in the meantime, but many are expected to return to the new Engine Company 38.  This is happening at a time during which the Nutter administration is doing “rolling brownouts” — temporarily deactivating fire companies to save on firefighters’ overtime.

Reported by Steve Tawa, KYW Newsradio 1060

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