Dozens joined the North Augusta Department of Public Safety and elected officials in celebrating the opening of Station No. 3 at 692 Belvedere-Clearwater Road.
“It’s a feeling of jubilation for all of us,” Public Safety Chief John Thomas said. “We’re very proud to have a building that’s going to serve the residents of North Augusta.”
The station has been in the works for a little more than a decade, City Administrator Todd Glover said. It was built using funds from the second round of the city’s capital project sales tax, which helps build parks and purchase equipment public safety, among other things, he said.
Sunday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony is an indicator of growth, as a new station was necessary to service developments on the northern outskirts of the city, Glover said.
“When you look at the amount of available raw land in the city, it’s along I-520,” he said. “We’re anticipating that a majority of our future growth is going to be in this corridor, so we’re certainly glad to be ahead of the curve to have this here and be ready for that.”
North Augusta resident Stayci Logue said she’s passed by the new station regularly while taking her two sons to school. The 5-year-old, Brennan, aspires to be a firefighter.
“He’s been waiting for it to open,” said Louge, who guided Brennan around the station before the ceremony. “Every day we passed by here, he would say, ‘Mom, they’re almost done!'”
Like other children at the station, Brennan spent most of his time surveying the garage. He said his favorite part was the aerial ladder truck, which was moved from Station No. 2 to be closer to the developments planned for the city’s downtown area.
Also exploring the new station was Graniteville resident Frances Spradley and her three sons. Though they live just outside the North Augusta city limits, she said, the open house meant her sons could mingle with public safety officers in a different environment.
“It’s nice to have them be able to see and talk to these officers in a relaxed setting,” she said, adding that it feels better knowing that the station is nearby.
Homeowners on that part of town, particularly those in the Lakes & Streams subdivision, should be happy knowing they will save money as the area’s Insurance Service Office rating improves, Glover said.
The new station means the department will improve on an area of public safety that Thomas said he holds most dear: response time.
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