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County to open bids on new South McDuffie station

On June 14, McDuffie County officials will know just how much a new South McDuffie fire station will cost them. Construction bids on the new headquarters station will be opened that Wednesday.

The current Station One location is in the path of the future Eastern Bypass. With road construction looming in the near future, officials decided to build the new station on land located on Harrison Road, donated from volunteer firefighter Paul Watson.

According to County Manager Don Norton, once construction begins it should last nine months. He said the building - designed by J. Glenn Gregory and Associates - is scheduled for completion in early 2007.

"We just continue to hear how prices have gone up on particular construction materials and things, so I'm a little reticent about the whole thing. We'll just have to do what we have to do on it," Mr. Norton said.

The new station will be funded by $850,000 of Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax money. Originally, only $400,000 was budgeted, but Fire Chief Bruce Tanner decided that $200,000 budgeted for repairs on the Carolyn Lake Station and nearly $250,000 on vehicles and other supplies could be shifted toward the project.

"That station's really the priority, and so that's kind of where we're picking some funds up," Mr. Norton said.

Chief Tanner said the new station will consist of a training room and secondary command center. It will also become the new headquarters station.

But Mr. Norton said if bids come in over the budgeted amount, the county will have to reconsider the size and function of the building. He said square footage may have to be cut.

"That's yet to be decided, and I'm hopeful we don't get to that point," he said. "Yeah, I think there's a chance we will, and we'll just have to work it out."

Station One became the second manned fire station for McDuffie County last summer. Chief Tanner said the station was manned full time beginning in January.

Web posted on Thursday, June 8, 2006

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