Monroe County fire station plans change

Monroe Co. fire station plans change

There's been a lot of confusion going around about the new Monroe County Fire Station. 

A foundation was laid down only to be torn up this week, and now plans to start laying down a new foundation are already in place. 

Noland Smith DJ's at night, so during the day he's been keeping an eye on the fire station's progress across the street.

 

"I've been wondering why they haven't finished the fire headquarters. Earlier this year, we've seen firefighters out there working then all of a sudden for no reason they stop," Smith said.

Many neighbors watched the firefighters build up the foundation for months only to have it torn down in less than a day.

Smith says the last few days have been confusing at best.

Going from a concrete building to now building a metal facility, Smith is concerned about the county's decisions.

"Why did they start the fire department then come tear the foundations up then decide to redo it? It's costing us tax money obviously and we're not happy about it," Smith said.

However, he's not the only one upset, former fire chief Danny Mercer says he and his volunteer firefighters were the ones who started the foundation and says it's disappointing to see what's come of it.

"You've done put volunteers time and effort in this whole process that didn't cost the county a dime," Mercer said.

He says from labor to the rebar and concrete, it's costed the county thousands by starting over.

"You're talking about anywhere in the neighborhood of $30,000 to $40,000 easily what we had already in the ground," Mercer said.


But project manager and county commissioner Larry Evans says he has documentation proving it was nowhere near that number.

"Little over $8,000 in concrete and it comes from our SPLOST funds," Evans said.

Evans says the firefighter's work was not authorized by the county.

He says the 12,000 square foot facility needed to be properly built by licensed professional contractors.

Thousands were lost, but he says they will be saving money in the long run by changing up the plans.

 
"I estimate that the Department of Corrections... they will save us somewhere around $400,000 on this building in construction costs," Evans said.
 
Evans says the project is estimated to be finished in March or April, and will cost a little over $1 million to complete.

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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