The Carteret County Board of Commissioners recently agreed to deed 4.9 acres of county-owned land in Mariners Park in Sea Level to the Down East (NC) Fire Department so the agency can pursue a federal grant to construct a new station there, reports carolinacoast.com.
There’s a stipulation, though, that the property will revert back to the county after four years if the department doesn’t construct a new station on the site within that time. The land will also revert back to the county in the future if it ever ceases to be used as a fire station.
Officials say that, although the project is still in the early stages, the hope is it will be built on higher ground to prevent flooding and become the primary station. They also hope that, if the new station is built, the department will be able to close the existing Sea Level and Stacy stations and turn Atlantic and Davis into substations.
Officials say the existing Down East Fire Department stations—Sea Level, Atlantic, Stacy, and Davis—flood frequently, and a new station would aim to allow the department to consolidate operations.
An official says he looked into a federal grant opportunity in June via the U.S. Department of Agriculture that may be able to fund most or all of construction costs for a new station. However, he was informed that the department would need land in its own name before it could apply for the grant.