Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Once built, Summerville’s newest fire station should cut response times to the Knightsville area by half, Chief Richard Waring said Monday.
Waring presided over a groundbreaking ceremony for the station that’s simply being called “Fire Station 5” for now.
The $1.27 million fire station, which will have the same design as the Sheep Island station, is being paid for with fire impact fees and hospitality tax funds.
It should be operational next fall, at which time one of the engine companies currently housed at the main station will be moved to the new station at the corner of Butternut Road and Central Avenue.
Councilman Bill McIntosh, who represents the area, said his district doesn’t get much publicity because it doesn’t have much controversy or a historic district.
But, he said, the station is very important for the community. Entrances to four neighborhoods are within a mile or less of the new station, he said.
“Mayor (Bill) Collins has been steadfast in his support, pushing this project forward,” in the face of many competing demands for funding, McIntosh said.
Plans for the station actually pre-date Collins, McIntosh and Waring, and at Monday’s ceremony McIntosh credited his predecessor, Mike Dawson, and Waring’s predecessor Marc Melfi, as well as the members of council’s public safety committee.
Collins said the station is evidence of council’s commitment to its citizens.
“Seeing this station come to fruition here in the Knightsville area is vitally important,” he said.
Summerville continues to grow by leaps and bounds, so the addition of a fire station is a critical component of public safety, he said.
Although the station itself won’t be the cause of personnel growth, Waring’s department was awarded three new captain positions in the 2013 budget.
He said they’re for openings throughout town, with the idea of having a captain on each piece of equipment.
Once the captain positions are filled, and the lower-ranked positions are filled in after people are promoted, the town will have 29 fire personnel working each day, he said.
Coast Architect and Linden Construction are leading the project.