MOUNT JACKSON — The Mount Jackson Rescue and Fire Department is proposing a nearly $2 million, 20,000-square-foot complex, that would include a garage, squad office and an event center.
But at least one Town Council member is concerned about the future of the former school building, where the rescue and fire station is now housed.
The proposed complex would be built on industrially zoned land near the Zirkel Hardware store along Main Street. It’s south of downtown but still within town limits.
Kevin Fauber, town manager, said the rescue and fire department would like for work on the project to start in May or June. Because of the limited time, a public hearing set for April 7 will cover both rezoning the land and issuing a special-use permit.
Plans call for a 10,000-square-foot structure to house vehicles; a 5,000-square-foot building identified as a squad office; and another 5,000-square-foot building proposed as an event center, Fauber said.
David Brinegar, president of the Mount Jackson Rescue and Fire Department, said construction of all three structures at the new facility will cost about $1.9 million.
The department’s current location in the one-time school on Main Street is about a third of a mile north of the proposed site for the new complex. Brinegar said renovating the old school building would cost $3.5 million to $4 million.
Still, Councilman Todd Holtzman said he thinks $1.9 million is a lot for the department to spend on a new complex. Holtzman thinks the current facility, which the town owns and supports to a major extent, is good enough.
“I think it boils down to the fact that they’ve got money to spend, and they want to spend it,” he said.
Holtzman also pointed out the department will eventually vacate the old school building, making it difficult for the town to maintain.
“The town is going to have to find way to make that a viable property because we cannot let it deteriorate,” he said. “It really is a shame that the Rescue and Fire Department wants to spend that money instead of making an investment in that community property.”
Contact Jonathon Shacat at 574-6286 or firstname.lastname@example.org