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Safe in Silver City
Ground broken for new Station 7
Fire Station G 2 es
Forsyth County Commission Chairman Charles Laughinghouse speaks at the groundbreaking Thursday morning for the new Forsyth County Fire Station 7. - photo by Emily Furtsch
Local officials dug up some dirt Thursday at the site of a new fire station in north Forsyth.

The groundbreaking for Forsyth County Fire Station 7 was held on the construction site next to Silver City Elementary School on Dahlonega Highway.

Fire Chief Danny Bowman said firefighters have been working out of a storage building, not far from the spot, for about two years.

Bowman thanked the Mills family, who donated the land for the existing station; the firefighters who will continue to “live” there until the new station opens next April; and the builder of the new station, J.K. Lockwood Construction Company.

“But we also want to thank very sincerely the board of commissioners, the county manager and the deputy county manager for their continued support of public safety,” Bowman said. “That is the reason government exists: the protection of life and property.”

The new station will be a two-bay, 7,333-square-foot facility.

The project is significant for a couple reasons.

According to information provided by the department, the current station was built in 1974 and was not staffed with paid personnel until 2008.

Had the station remained unstaffed, the 370 commercial and residential addresses in its territory would have received an ISO Town Class 10 rating, meaning they were unprotected.

Commission Chairman Charles Laughinghouse thanked past and present commissioners for their support of the fire department.

“Today’s groundbreaking represents another important step in providing the very best in public safety services possible to the citizens of Forsyth County,” Laughinghouse said. “We take a great deal of pride in the outstanding public safety services this county offers.”

The chairman also thanked county residents and the “builders of Forsyth County” for funding from the 1-cent sales tax and impact fees that are “making this new fire station a reality.”

The commission, he said, appreciates the daily efforts and sacrifices made by the county’s firefighters.

Commissioner Jim Boff also addressed the gathering Thursday, thanking the department and residents for their support of public safety.

“I’m thrilled at this site, and I’m thrilled that this new fire house is going in and I can’t wait to see it finished,” he said.

The site is in Commissioner Patrick Bell’s district. Though he was not able to attend the ceremony, Bell noted in a letter that he is proud of the future station.

“I extend my most sincere appreciation to our firefighters and every member of the fire department, our citizens and everyone involved in this wonderful project and look forward to the opening of the station next year,” Bell wrote.