Volunteer fire station may have to move - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Volunteer fire station may have to move

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Chief David Forrester of the Baconton Volunteer Fire Department Chief David Forrester of the Baconton Volunteer Fire Department
Bradley Solomon, Baconton Resident Bradley Solomon, Baconton Resident
Westley Hicks, III, another Baconton Resident Westley Hicks, III, another Baconton Resident
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BACONTON, GA (WALB) -

A Mitchell County Magistrate Court judge will decide whether a South Georgia fire department has to move.  

The Baconton Volunteer Fire Station built with donated money off U.S. 19 was constructed on private property 18 years ago.  Since then, the station has reportedly fought nearly 250 fires every year.  

The station's trucks help fight nearly 250 fires every year, and keep a community safe.  

"We are busy.  We're a very busy station," said Chief David Forrester of the Baconton Volunteer Fire Department. "All I know is the property owner had asked us to leave this property."

But they and the 28 firefighters who use them to save lives may soon have to move to a new station. The property owner operates the mid-way store right next door.

"Money, labor and building materials were all donated when the building was built," said Forrester.

The Mitchell County Magistrate Court will now decide what to do with the building and whether the department has to move.

"Dealing with the courts, you never know what the outcome might be,"  Forrester said.  

But residents worry moving the station could jeopardize the area. "They just had a fire up the road right around Christmas time.  If it wasn't for the local fire department, everything would  be lost," said  Bradley Solomon, Baconton Resident

"I think it should stay where it's at.  Got it right here locally, right around the middle of everything,"  said Westley Hicks, III, another Baconton Resident.

Meanwhile, city and county leaders are developing plans to build a new station to meet a rising demand.

"North Mitchell County has grown a good bit in the last several years and part of that's due to the charter school here and North Mitchell County Elementary School is a new school built here.  And we have a lot of traffic in and out of here everyday," Forrester said.

Leaders don't yet know how much a new station would cost, but the chief says it would likely be built on public land near city hall.

"We're gonna try to stay as close as we can to U.S. 19,"   Forrester said.  And staying close to the major road, he said, wouldn't disrupt their fire coverage.

Our WALB team reached out to Dana Sellers, the property owner, for an interview, but she declined to comment until after the lawsuit.  Both parties will appear in court in Camilla at 3 o'clock Monday.  Chief Forrester said the department will continue keeping the community safe, even if they have to move.

 

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