By: Michael Campbell | Twitter: @itsthesoup
Posted: Oct 19, 2017 | 12:16 p.m.
PRINCE GEORGE – Thursday’s rain showers didn’t stop supervisors and members of the Prince George Department of Fire and EMS from breaking ground on a new fire station that will serve a growing portion of the county along the busy Route 10 corridor.
Despite a mist of rain that fell at times during the ceremony, a good turnout was on hand that included members of the Prince George Board of Supervisors, County Staff, members of the Burrowsville Volunteer Fire Department and other volunteer personnel, elected and appointed officials and nearby County residents.
“This was a long time coming and I am very happy,” commented Burrowsville Volunteer Fire Chief John Nicol, whose company will be assigned to oversee the building when it is constructed. “I want to thank everyone who has been part of this.”
Prince George Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Robertson gave a history of the project, which dated back to the planning stages almost 20 years ago.
“I want to thank the volunteers at Burrowsville for pushing for this to happen,” Robertson said. “This will provide additional coverage for our citizens.”
Billy Woodruff, a resident of Jordan on the James subdivision, said he really got interested in a new station for the area when a close friend of his passed away after it took a long time for an ambulance to respond.
“I am so glad this is happening,” Woodruff said. “I am thankful our concerns were heard.”
The Board of Supervisors at its September 26 meeting accepted an architect’s design to construct a fully-built fire station. In previous discussions, the BOS was unsure whether a fully-built station was necessary since Burrowsville Volunteer Fire Department operated a full station further up Route 10. However, after receiving the architect’s report from HBA Architecture Interior Design and listening to County Staff, volunteer fire personnel and citizens attending the meeting, they unanimously voted to move ahead with a fully-built station.
During the architect’s report in September, two approaches were presented to supervisors, a phased approach that would see the vehicle bays built first then the living quarters built at a later time and the non-phased option where the entire facility would be built at one time.
According to HBA estimates, Phase 1 of the two-phase plan would’ve cost roughly $1.6 million, which includes building and site design and construction, fire station equipment, furniture and utility tap fees, such as electricity, phone, and cable services. The cost of the second phase, depending on how long after it is built following the completion of the first phase, could’ve caused the total cost of the project to rise to anywhere from $2.7 million five years down the road to $3.1 million after ten years depending on inflation.
Presently, the total estimated cost of the full station is approximately $2.3 million, according to county data, but, but firm numbers won’t be known until bids are received by contractors interested in building the facility.
Supervisors also committed to using up to $1.6 million of the county’s FY2016 fund balance to help pay for the project.
According to county officials, the station will not only reduce response times to residents in and around the Moody Road location but will also reduce premiums for homeowner insurance policies.
“There are about 1,917 homeowners in that area that will be positively impacted by this project,” Owens said last month.
The construction time is expected to be about 12 months once a contractor is retained.