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Franklin County Board of Supervisors debates Glade Hill Fire EMS Station proposal

Updated: Jun. 15, 2021 at 7:16 PM EDT
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FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - In Franklin County, the Board of Supervisors continues its discussions around a new Fire and EMS station in Glade Hill.

Tuesday afternoon, leaders voted five-to-two to move forward with the architectural plans and start receiving bids for construction.

“That building has been there as far back as I remember and I have been doing this for 31 years,” Public Safety Director Billy Ferguson said.

The fire department has outgrown its space, with more gear than they can fit inside, Ferguson said.

That’s why the county is moving forward with a proposal to create a new Glade Hill Fire and EMS station on land at the intersection of Old Franklin Turnpike and Turtle Hill Road.

“Basically, we get that single building and put two entities in there and be able to offer a better service to the community,” Ferguson said.

The county has already purchased the land and hired an architecture firm, but Tuesday, discussions became heated as the Board of Supervisors voted to move forward and receive construction bids.

“It should have never got to this, never got to this,” Supervisor Ronald Mitchell said.

The politics surrounding the proposed station have affected the Glade Hill volunteers, Mitchell said.

Mitchell said he thinks this station would eventually hurt the volunteer system throughout the county.

“Combination stations don’t work. If this board wants to start working toward having paid firefighters all over this county, you start right here,” he said.

Meanwhile, Supervisor Tommy Cundiff said the upgrade is a long time coming.

“I still support the volunteer and public safety together. I still support the Glade Hill Volunteer station,” Cundiff said.

The project is estimated to cost $5.2 million, but that price tag could change once construction bids are submitted.

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