Posted: Wednesday, October 2nd 2013 at 12:20pm
New north Hall fire station to rise quickly
By Marc Eggers Staff
GAINESVILLE – If you haven’t driven down Mt. Vernon Road (Highway 283) lately between the Wahoo Creek Bridge and North Hall High School you probably will do a double-take as you pass the intersection with Shirley Road.
What was formerly seldom-used pasture land is now a construction site. Mounds of red Georgia dirt, graveled entrance ways and endless silt-fencing surrounding the lower elevations of this 4.16 acre site point to the fact that something significant is underway.
And this metamorphism has happened quickly.
A new fire station is coming to northern Hall County and should be operational by April, 2014.
Even as Hall County officials, Emergency Services personnel and members of the media gathered around the canopy set up for the official groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday morning, the sound of diesel truck engines idling in the not-too distant background was discernible.
“I can hear the trucks idling and I know the contractors are sitting there watching the dollar signs roll,” Fire Chief David Kimbrell said during his turn at the podium. In the background a handful of men wearing hardhats nodded their agreement, anxious to resume work.
Kimbrell added that the new station will be the 16th in the county and the sixth in expansive District 3, but it is much needed and long overdue. Initially approved for funding during SPLOST V, the county has had to delay its construction because the county budget could not afford to fund the personnel needed to staff the station.
That has changed and twelve new firefighters will be hired to help man the station, District 3 Commissioner Scott Gibbs explained.
County Administrator Randy Knighton said they will join 346 first responders currently on staff throughout the county.
"This will be another piece of the puzzle trying to get everybody into a Class 4 rating for the county," Gibbs said.
Sitting in the audience, area resident Reneigh Satterfield smiled and nodded in agreement. "I’m really excited about it because when (the) Quillian’s Corner (fire station) closed and my insurance renewed, it went from $3,000 to $10,000."
"So today is a very exciting day for me because I know that when this is complete my insurance will be reasonable,” Satterfield said.
Chief Kimbrell concurred. "Adding additional coverage…the need has really become extremely prevalent in the past couple of years with insurance ratings."
Commissioner Gibbs has insight into the anticipated growth for his district from a second vantage point: he owns and operates a grading company. "I think that all of District 3 is poised for big growth because after the slowdown our building permits are increasing."
Twelve shovelfuls of dirt were turned over as the cameras clicked recording the official groundbreaking, while in the background the sound of dump trucks and earth movers starting their engines told everyone it was time to stand back and let the building begin.
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