The county is making plans to eventually establish a fire department station in the Four Seasons community.
County Mayor Mike Foster said the county commission last week voted to acquire property, a little more than an acre in size, near the intersection of Four Seasons Road and Young Green Road for the future home of the new fire station. Though the land is appraised at $13,000, Foster said the owner is selling it to the county for $4,000. And it is a better location for a fire station than property the county already owns at Pine Creek Saddle Club in that it will improve the ISO rating for more residents. "The county owns two or three acres where the Pine Creek Saddle Club is, but in order for people to get the benefit of it (better ISO Rating), it (fire station) must be a couple of miles on down the road. It's got to be within five miles of the majority of those houses for them to get the benefit of a better ISO rating. This property is about five miles to town and five miles to the boat dock," said Foster.
According to Foster, the Four Seasons community is perhaps the area of the county in the greatest need for a fire station. " As far as looking at the number of houses outside the five mile range of a fire station, that's probably the biggest area of the county. There are probably 300 houses down in there. Just at Four Seasons is 179 (houses). From there back to town, there's a lot of houses. So this (fire station) would help," said Foster.
While the owner is making the county a deal on the property, he is asking that the fire station have an attractive look that blends in with other structures in the community. " He asked that the facade be brick. He owns the subdivision there (nearby). He's going to take a deduction for a donation because it benefits his subdivision (to have a fire station closeby) but it also benefits everybody down there," Foster said.
There are no immediate plans to start construction. "It may be a little while in the future doing that," said Foster.
County Fire Chief Donny Green included a request for an additional fire station in his 2014-15 budget proposal for the fire department. In the request, Green wrote, "We have been meeting and discussing a proposal to build an additional fire station in the Four Seasons (Young Bend) area of the county. Our fire needs assessment shows that this is an area with many residences that are beyond the 5-road mile service area from any of our existing stations. Because of this distance, homeowners are charged much higher insurance premiums and fire and other related incident arrival times are significantly longer. Our last fire station construction project, in 2007, in the Austin Bottom community cost about $55,000," wrote Green.
The county currently has eleven fire stations.