Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, says the first phase of the Black River Fire Station in St. Elizabeth is now complete.

This renovation is expected to cost $60-million.

Minister McKenzie says the first phase included; building a perimeter fence, expanding the drain capacity, and building a new facility to house fire trucks.

He said the renovation is now moving to its second phase, and that this will result in the relocation of the firefighters for a short time. To facilitate the extensive work that needs to get done.

The Minister noted that the aim is to develop a well-equipped and responsive firefighting operation.

He says, once the project is complete, the parish will receive two brand-new units out of the 30 fire trucks being obtained for the country.

He commended firefighters in St. Elizabeth for their patience and noted that their hard work has not gone unnoticed.

Minister McKenzie also stated an intent to visit Balaclava soon and says that an announcement will be made when he decides to do so.

Acting Senior Deputy Superintendent in charge of the Black River Fire Station, Oneil Henry, said he has seen an improvement since the initiation of the project, and noted that the firefighters are working more comfortably.