EARLY — One at a time, Early Fire Chief Travis Eoff started the engines of two fire trucks at the fire department’s new home Tuesday evening and moved them forward a few feet.

Eoff stopped each truck with their front ends resting just outside the fire hall at 1030 Early Boulevard, formerly the home of Chambers Pump.

There was no fire call on this occasion.

City officials and Early Chamber of Commerce representatives gathered to dedicate the 17,000-square-foot building and hold a ribbon-cutting. The building also houses the city’s Utility Department.

The Early City Council approved the purchase of the building in 2008 for $400,000, and the Utility Department moved in first. The Fire Department could not move in until the front of the building was modified to accommodate large roll-up doors for the fire trucks.

That work has been accomplished, but there is more to do at the building including electrical and plumbing work and putting concrete in the parking lot, City Administrator Ken Thomas said.

After the dedication, Early City Council members drove the few blocks to City Hall for their regular Tuesday night meeting.

Thomas told council members the Texas Water Development Board has given the OK for the city to let bids for material for the planned water line. That’s the line that will bring treated water from the Brown County Water Improvement District to Early.

Thomas said the hope is that work on the pipeline can begin after the first of next year. He said 131 truckloads of 24-inch pipe will roll into the area. Water district representatives have said the pipe can be stored at water treatment plant property, Thomas said.

City engineers think the cost of the $6 million project might be $1 million less because the reduction in the cost of oil has resulted in lower costs of materials, Thomas said.

In other business, council members:

• Heard Wanda Furgason, community development coordinator for the Early Chamber of Commerce and Early Economic Development Corp., report that the EDC will begin advertising to hire an executive director. The EDC has not had an executive director since June 2004.

• Appointed Barbara Stewart to the EDC board, and appointed Maria Olivares, Frankie Wilder and Gary Stovall to the Planning and Zoning Commission.