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City officials mull over fire station prospects
Chief Rushing cites need for new department facility
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Richmond Hill residents could see some changes to the fire station and old city hall building located on Ford Avenue near the intersection of Highway 17 in the near future — but city officials aren’t yet sure what those changes will be.
According to Richmond Hill Mayor Harold Fowler, the City Council is in discussions on how best to replace the fire station and city building. Fowler said Friday the council is weighing three options when it comes to the fire station.
“The main thing is we want something that will meet our needs for now and the next few years,” Fowler said.
Some ideas the council is considering include a new facility, which could cost as much as $2 million, he said, or remodeling the existing station and old city hall building, which could carry a price tag of about $1.2 million.
The council is also weighing the option of waiting a year and saving some special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) dollars for the project.
“We’re just trying to see where the money is and where we stand on it,” Fowler said.
Richmond Hill Fire Chief Vernon Rushing said he thinks it would be best to tear those buildings down and start from scratch.
“The old fire station was built in 1960 and the city hall building built in 1980,” Rushing said. “We know the old bay thing up there needs to be torn down, and I don’t believe there’s a way to bring up the old city hall building. It’s got some roof and structural damage — the whole roof would need to be replaced and it’s not cost effective.”
He also said the current buildings, even if renovated, wouldn’t meet the department’s needs down the road.

Read more in the Sept. 29 edition of the News.

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