New Fort Mill fire station site discussed in ‘executive session’

jmarks@fortmilltimes.comSeptember 30, 2013 

— Town Council may soon make a decision to add another fire station for the Fort Mill Fire Department.

Last week, the town’s public safety committee met behind closed doors in an “executive session” to discuss contractual agreements and the purchase of property.

“Property for a second fire station was discussed and will be on the next Town Council agenda,” said Kimberly Starnes, town spokesperson.

Council next meets Oct. 14.

The department’s current station is on Tom Hall Street. Interim Chief Jerry Chapman referred questions on the upcoming decision to the town, but did say the substantial residential and commercial growth during the past year has his group wanting to stay ahead of the surging need for fire service.

“That’s what we’re trying to do here,” Chapman said.

The recently approved town budget for the fiscal year starting this month includes six new firefighters. Currently the department has 12 full-time and six part-time firefighters, and six more volunteers. Chapman hopes the new positions and perhaps a new station will help provide quicker response times.

The six new firefighters have not yet been hired.

“We’re looking at having a start date for those [new firefighters] of Jan. 1,” Chapman said.

Neither the town nor Chapman named the site being discussed. He did say it was in the area of coming development. Major residential projects are planned on the southern end of town like the recently annexed Waterside on the Catawba, which will have 1,300 homes, and Riverchase. Build-out of Massey and The Forest at Fort Mill are taking place there, too.

The Waterside property does include some land set aside for municipal use. Land there has been discussed as a potential fire department site.

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