AUGUSTA, G.A. (WJBF) – People in South Augusta are concerned with the lack of public safety in that area. They say they’ve been waiting for a fire station for almost 6 years now, but there’s still no construction in sight.
“Where is our fire station,” said James Germany.
Germany lives in South Augusta. The closest fire station is around 5 miles away from him.
“My house has been struck by lightning twice, and several other houses have been struck by lightening as well, there’s just not a sense of security,” said Germany.
And for most residents in that area not having a nearby fire station is costing them money.
“It affects your property owner’s insurance. Normally dealing with the ISO rating system the farther away you are from a fire department the probability of your property insurance being higher,” he said.
Nearly 8 million dollars were set aside in SPLOST 7 to build three fire stations in South Augusta. Two of those stations #2 located on Telfair street and #20 located off of Highway 1 are now standing.
“The third was supposed to be planted right here on Gordon Highway, but now all we have is an empty field,” said Germany.
Plans have been drawn up, the land has been bought, but there’s still no sign of construction. District leaders say with the population continuing to grow in that area, public safety is a high priority.
“The one that is the closest would be on Flowing Wells Road and I’ce been told that takes 15-20 mins to get to other neighborhoods off Gordon Highway,” said District Three Commissioner Catherine Smith-McKnight.
Commissioner McKnight says that area pays some of the highest taxes in the city, but the biggest obstacle in erecting a fire station is funding.
“I’ve been told that there’s not enough money to do Fire station number 3, which is the one that we definitely need and probably should’ve been the first one to be built,” said Commissioner McKnight.
The two stations that have been built cost more than 3 million dollars each. That left around 1 million dollars for station 3. Now the soil needs to be restored.
“Well, we’ve got to make sure before we build anything out there, it’s done properly, that’s going to be the first step,” she said.
And that’s going to cost more money, but Commissioner McKnight says they’ll get it done.
“I just want to let the citizens know that, there will be a fire station, I just don’t know when,” she said.