Commissioners approve land purchase for fire station

By Monroe Roark
Times Correspondent

The Henry County Board of Commissioners took the next step in permanently replacing Fire Station 8 with a vote at the end of its Nov. 7 regular meeting to spend $200,000 on three acres of property on Jodeco Road.

The action was taken after executive session and with very little discussion. County attorney Patrick Jaugstetter noted that the former permanent station had gone into disrepair and become unserviceable, which made necessary the construction of temporary accommodations for fire department personnel in that area.

The station, which has been located on Flippen Road just north of Hudson Bridge Road for decades, was shut down in late 2016 after county officials determined that it would be unsafe to continue operating in the old building. Fire department personnel were relocated briefly to two other nearby stations until the temporary facilities were installed.

Further studies showed that is was not practical to rebuild on the Flippen Road site because of construction concerns as well as traffic, which has increased dramatically over the years along that corridor to the point that moving fire trucks in and out of the station would be problematic.

The new site for which the land purchase was approved last week is west of Flippen Road, between Meridian Drive and Summer Leigh Drive.

Last December, just a few weeks after taking office, Com-missioner Dee Clemmons requested a transfer of $1.938 million from fund balance to the county’s capital fund so that staff could proceed with the procurement process for engineering and location feasibility studies. That request was approved at that time. Clemmons noted then that the station was on the county’s SPLOST list but had been downgraded from Tier 1 to Tier 2 and then-chairman Tommy Smith pointed out that there were no funds currently allocated for it.

There was no discussion or comments at last week’s meeting with regard to a timetable for construction of a new fire station.