Central Town Council is moving forward with its idea for upgrades to its fire station by selecting Clemson’s Trehel Corporation to conduct a site study for the department.
“They will determine which location is best – either the current site, moving to a site where a building is already there that we could retrofit or buying vacant land and building a facility from scratch,” said Town Administrator Phillip Mishoe.
Mishoe said a time frame for the study, which will cost $5,500, would be determined at a later date.
“We will hold a meeting as far as the direction to go and then we’ll know how long it will take to do the study,” Mishoe said. “Hopefully, the study will provide lots of answers, but probably some more questions as well.”
The town administrator said he hopes to have the meeting between council members and Trehel Corporation April 19, provided all parties are available.
Last year, Mishoe said a decision needed to be made regarding the current fire station, originally built in 1969. Should the decision be made to remain at its present sire, adjacent to the former town hall, the town administrator said upgrades will be required – including demolition of town hall.
“We need to extend the back of it and sides because the ladder truck we have only has a foot left in the back once you get it in and close the door and only six inches on each side,” Mishoe said. “We also probably need another bay.”
Mishoe pointed out that most of the newer fire stations are drive-through, so trucks aren’t required to back up, making it easier to get in and out when responding to fire calls.
“We need something to last, like we did in 1969,” he said. “When it was built then, it was built for the present and future. That’s something we want – something to serve its purpose for another 30 years.”
Central officials hoped for some funding relief if Pickens County and the Pickens County School Board of Trustees renewed its portions of a 15-year Tax Increment Finance (TIF) agreement with the town. However, both the county and school board declined to do so prior to the expiraition of the agreement in December.
Mishoe estimates the fire station project cost to be between $1 million and $2 million.