07/14/06 — Mount Olive plans fire station's future

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Mount Olive plans fire station's future

By Turner Walston
Published in News on July 14, 2006 1:48 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Town officials are taking a look at fire protection services and facilities as they try to plan ahead to handle future growth in the community.

Town Manager Charles Brown said Mount Olive has outgrown its fire station at 401 N. Center St. So, officials are conducting a study to see how best to handle the community's needs and how to pay for the necessary improvements.

"Basically, the equipment that we have now is almost too large to fit in the current space we have," Brown said. "This is what's driving the study. We're running out of room."

Town officials want to know if they should demolish the current building, rebuild and expand it, or abandon the site and build a new station, Brown said.

"We felt like if we were going to do anything at all, we needed professionals to tell us where our needs are going to be in the years to come in terms of fire protection, what's going to give us the most effective utilization of our personnel and equipment, and what the most cost-effective way to go would be," he said.

The Wooten Co. of Raleigh has been commissioned to perform the study, which will cost the town about $8,500. Brown said the study's findings could help the community secure funding to help pay for the construction.

Lisa Wilson, business development coordinator with The Wooten Co., said her company will examine the needs of the town and help determine the next step.

"The purpose behind it is to decide several things," she said. "It helps determine what the best outcome is. Is it better to stay where you are, build a whole new building, whether you should co-locate some of your services. It gives you an idea what your plans should be."

Brown said he expects to receive the results of the study in six to eight months.

"We want them to tell us, based on interviews with personnel in town, fire personnel obviously, where they think we should be five years from now, one year from now and further out from that," he said.

Currently, the town employs two full-time firefighters and has about 20 volunteers at the Center Street station, Brown said.