STOCKBRIDGE— Fire Station 8’s replacement moved a step forward Tuesday morning after commissioners approved the allocation of $1.93 million to go toward a new station. Fire staff and equipment for the station at 1762 Flippen Road has been displaced since late September after a structural engineer deemed the building uninhabitable.
District 2 Commissioner Dee Clemmons had requested that the funding be placed on Tuesday’s Board of Commissioners meeting agenda. Clemmons said she was ready to move forward with engineering and a location feasibility study and mentioned that the 30-year-old building was on the SPLOST III and now SPLOST IV project list. She expressed frustration that the building’s replacement had been moved from a Tier 1 to a Tier 2 project.
At its Oct. 18 meeting, commissioners voted to approve up to $175,000 in expenditures for temporary structures at the Station 8 site. The temporary structures, which will consist of modular housing and a metal apparatus building, will be located behind the existing station.
“The entire county is at risk,” said Clemmons. “Temporary is permanent until a plan is put into place.”
Henry County Fire Chief Nish Willis said in October that rescue crews from Station 8 are being housed at Station 3, located at Ga. Highway 42 and Eagle’s Landing Parkway, and the No. 8 engine and its crew are housed at Station 9 on Rock Quarry Road
County staff had indicated that the station may need to be permanently relocated due to the increasingly high volume of traffic in the area, which make it difficult for fire trucks to exit the property.
Chairman Tommy Smith suggested that commissioners approve up to $3 million for the fire station, since costs for the most recently constructed stations in the county have averaged around $2.5 million, and in the case that its is decided to purchase new land to relocate the station.
However, Clemmons said that since the land behind the fire station had already been purchased by the county for the purpose of rebuilding Station 8, then it should be used as such.
Part of the $1.9 million allocation will pay for a feasibility study. The funds will be transferred from the county’s Fund Balance, or reserves.
According to Tuesday’s agenda, the budget amendment is the 27th budget amendment since Fiscal Year 2017 began July 1.
Smith voted against the transfer of funds.