Proposed $5.3M Franklin County (VA) Fire & Rescue Station Draws Criticism

The current station. Photo via Facebook.

A long-planned new $5.3 million fire and rescue station in Franklin County (VA) ignited controversy before the project has even begun, reports roanoke.com.

The proposed Glade Hill Volunteer Fire-EMS Station has drawn pointed criticism from county supervisors for its cost and from volunteer firefighters who say the project has pushed them out, the report notes.

At a recent board meeting, station defenders voiced frustration at mixed feelings on the new digs after years of preparation. They also said that the station’s construction would encourage development in the district.

A decision needs to be made as to whether to accept a $4.8 million bid from a Gretna construction company to start work on the chosen site—near the intersection of Virginia 40 and Turtle Hill Road. Officials, though, postponed that decision until the board’s next meeting on Sept. 21, the report says. The problem lies in that bids for the project are set to expire on Sept. 25.

The proposed station—under discussion since 2011—is a 13,800-square-foot facility, which is bigger than the current 1960s-era station, but the new design still offers only three bays, the same as now, officials say. The $5.3 million price tag includes costs beyond construction, such as the land purchase, surveys, and architectural designs.

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