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The new Cedar Point fire station became operational earlier this month and will help firefighters better service the community.

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AZTEC — Last year, San Juan County volunteer firefighters in the Cedar Point area near Aztec responded to about 412 calls.

Now a new Cedar Point fire station will help firefighters better balance the load. The fire station will also provide assistance to the Blanco and Navajo Dam areas, where the county was forced to merge stations last year because of a lack of volunteer firefighters.

The new station became operational earlier this month, and the firefighters based there had already responded to eight calls before Tuesday's ceremony, according to San Juan County Fire Chief Craig Daugherty.

The station cost about $1.1 million and was paid for from a $7.1 million bond the County Commission approved in 2015 for new stations, replacing old engines and recruiting more firefighters. The bond was also used to renovate the Valley Fire Department Station 1 in Kirtland.

"This bond definitely helped us do a lot of good stuff," Daugherty said as the county commissioners and county executive officer examined a new fire truck that was purchased for the station.

The Cedar Point Fire Department station 2 is the first fire station that has been built in 11 years. The closest fire station is seven miles away.

"This area here is slowly growing," Daugherty told the crowd Tuesday.

After the ribbon cutting, Daugherty said a lot of new homes have been built in the area over the last five years. He said there are about four subdivisions surrounding the fire station.

As the county's population changes and new subdivisions are built, the fire department has to evaluate how to best serve those areas.

The county is also planning to build a new station in the West Hammond area off of County Road 5500. West Hammond is the area between Lee Acres and Bloomfield on the south side of the San Juan River. Daugherty said the fire station in Waterflow will also need improvements.

"We're constantly evaluating where we're lacking in service," Daugherty said.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.

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