EAST PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – A vision 30 years in the making is coming to fruition.

East Peoria’s city officials and first responders, along with Illinois’ representatives, broke ground Friday for the city’s upcoming fire station near Illinois Central College.

The ceremony was held at 2001 Centennial Drive.

“ICC donated the land and kept this dream alive for almost 30 years and we’re finally here,” Bobby Zimmerman, East Peoria’s Fire Chief, said.

East Peoria’s Mayor John Kahl said there have been two different studies done over the past three decades which highlighted the need for a fire station at this location.

Kahl also credited Senator Dave Koehler, former state representative Mike Unes, and ICC’s president Dr. Sheila Quirk-Bailey for their contributions to the project.

“I can’t stress enough the importance of the collaboration,” Kahl said.

Zimmerman said as the city has grown the corridor along Centennial has also grown and firefighters run a lot of calls in the area.

“It’s [the station] going to help provide a fire and EMS service closer to this area of town and that’s just going to be great,” Zimmerman said. “In our line of work seconds do matter and this is going to let us get to this area of town significantly quicker.”

He said the new station will be staffed 24/7 by four firefighter-paramedics. He said they’ll shift resources and will potentially hire more staff in the future.

Zimmerman said the budget for this project is going to be between $3.4 and $3.5 million. He said they hope to be settled into the new station between Sep. and Nov. 2023.