Growth in Harnett County’s northern half is well documented and that growth brings with it an increased need for services. The Angier Black River Fire Department broke ground Monday on a …
Growth in Harnett County’s northern half is well documented and that growth brings with it an increased need for services. The Angier Black River Fire Department broke ground Monday on a facility that will help provide some of those services and will make the community safer for all residents.
Town officials and fire department board members were on site at the station’s Broad Street location to mark the beginning of construction of a new extension on the building’s west and north sides.
Chief Austin Tew said the new facility, with a price tag of more than $1 million, will allow the department to man the station 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“That is a big step for our department,” Tew said.
Currently, paid staff work at the station Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Night, weekend and holiday calls are currently handled by volunteer staff members.
“This is something we have needed to do for a while,” Tew said. “This is going to allow us to serve the people of the area better.”
Among the amenities in the addition will be new showers, bunks, kitchens and eating space for the firefighters who will now spend extended time in the facility. There will also be additional operational space throughout the building.
Tew said the project is being funded through wise use of fire tax money which comes into the department. The department receives no funding from the town of Angier.
Angier Mayor Bob Smith could not attend Monday’s event because of illness but said Tuesday it is an important move for the town. Though the fire department is a separate entity, it works with the town to provide services.
“This will allow them to help keep up with the growth and to continue providing services that are needed,” Smith said. “It is a good thing for the town when we have the growth that we are seeing.”
According to 2010 census numbers, the Angier Black River Fire Department serves a 36.5 mile area containing approximately 15,000 residents. Thousands of new homes have already been approved in the area and are now in the construction process.
Monday’s event, catered by Ed’s Family restaurant, brought out a large crowd, largely made up of fire department board members and firefighters. Officials in attendance included Town Manager Gerry Vincent and Town Commissioners Loru Boyer Hawley and Mike Hill.