RIALTO- City officials plan to build a new fire station to serve the southend of the city, where it takes nearly twice as long in some areas forfirefighters to respond to an emergency.

Though much of the city's development has been focused north ofthe 10 Freeway, projects for the south end have been proposed,prompting the city to take a closer look at the thinly populated area.

"There's a clear need for the station there," Fire Chief Steve Wells said.

Wells said response times south of the 10 are eight to 10 minutes, compared with five minutes in the rest of the city.

ThePlanning Commission on Tuesday will consider the Rancho El Rivinoproject by Young Homes, a 726-home development on 165 acres south ofthe freeway. It would occupy county land just north of El Rivino Roadthat would be annexed by Rialto.

Economic Development Director Robb Steel said theEnvironmental Impact Report drawn up for the project showed there isinsufficient fire response in the area to serve the proposed homes.

The city is negotiating a development agreement with YoungHomes that would help pay for the fire station and infrastructure thecity would need for the development, such as sewers.

Steel said the city has askedYoung to pay development fees higher than the current rate because thecity is poised to raise those fees. He said the city has asked for evenhigher fees to fund a new fire station.

Building and equipping the station will cost $6 million, Steel said.

PoliceChief Mark Kling said it is also possible there will be a policesubstation at the same location and that as the city continues todevelop, it will be necessary to increase the department's size.

"Right now we wouldn't have the staff to fill a substation," he said.

Inaddition to the El Rivino project, a number of industrial projectseither already exist or will eventually will be built south of 10. InSeptember, the City Council approved a 1.4 million-square-foot heavyindustrial center that will be built on Riverside Avenue and Agua MansaRoad.

But Wells said industrial development does not demand as much from the Fire Department as does residential development.

If the Planning Commission approves the proposal, it would go before the City Council in January.