The Mount Jackson Rescue and Fire squad is hoping for a new location. According to Chief Sam Bohus, the group’s current station at 6044 Main Street isn’t quite cutting it.
“The building itself isn’t suitable,” he said, adding that it has electrical issues, and a leaky roof and gutters. “We’re just trying to get an updated building.”
After talking to different contractors, the organization — which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013 — concluded it would be cheaper to build a new structure, as opposed to renovating the current one.
The squad’s already selected a space to build on — an empty lot about a quarter of a mile away from the current address.
The only issue: The land is located within an industrial zone, which — unlike the current B2 zone — doesn’t permit fire stations.
“We are just trying to get it rezoned, so we can build a new fire station,” Bohus explained.
At the Mount Jackson Town Council meeting March 11, the council agreed to have a public hearing on the zoning issue at 7 p.m. April 7.
At the upcoming hearing, town manager Kevin Fauber said the Council and Planning Commission will listen to public feedback and evaluate those comments. According to Fauber, Mount Jackson has aesthetic “guidelines” for Main Street, which the Council and Planning Commission will also take into consideration.
“Our zoning code requires that some landscaping [would need to] be done out to the front of the project and towards the rear, where it joins a residential district, there will have to be some buffering and landscaping there,” he remarked.
If the rezoning request is approved, Bohus hopes to get construction underway as early as May. With the costs estimated at nearly $2 million, he says the group will use savings and donations to cover the fees. The group also plans to take out a loan.
“Anybody that can help out, we would greatly appreciate it,” he added.
Bohus believes a higher-quality station will benefit all of Mount Jackson.
“Hopefully, [the better conditions] will allow us to attract more volunteers and offer a faster service.”
Contact Katie King at (540) 574-6271 or firstname.lastname@example.org.