SOUTH FORSYTH — Officials broke ground on the first of Forsyth County’s two new fire stations during a ceremony Friday afternoon.
Fire Station 6 will be near the intersection of Caney and Brookwood roads, across from Brookwood Baptist Church in south Forsyth.
Fire Chief Danny Bowman said he had wanted a fire station in the area after reviewing how long it took firefighters to respond to calls there.
“I’ve been watching the response times from Fire Station 10, which is on Old Atlanta Road, to here [and they] are way too high,” he said. “This area is growing, and I need an engine house right in the middle of the growth.”
Construction for the fire station was funded through a 1-cent sales tax money and impact fees, or charges on new development.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the second fire facility, a new Station 8 on Keith Bridge Road in north Forsyth, is set for Feb. 19. The total cost of both projects is about $5.6 million.
Station 6 will be the first new one in the county since 1999 and addresses a missing number in the department’s facility inventory. The county had a Station 6 years ago in its volunteer firefighting-era.
Once completed, Station 6 will be about 125,000 square feet with four vehicle bays. And according to Bowman, the station won’t be the only new item.
“A new [fire] engine is under construction right now in Appleton, Wis.,” he said. “They’ll start with a brand-new fire station and brand-new fire engine.”
Bowman said he expected the project to take about 14 months to finish and be put to use immediately thereafter.
“This is going to be busy,” Bowman said. “We respond all the way back toward the city of Johns Creek, you respond back up towards Ga. 400, back towards Windermere and the like. This is going to be busy.”
Also speaking at the event was Anna Gleason, wife of the late Jack Gleason, a county resident who supported a new fire station in the area and often spoke about local issues.
“My husband, I used to kind of accuse him of having opposition disorder. I used to call it chronic opposition disorder,” she said. “If the [commission] had a policy on something he believed in, he wouldn’t give up on it. He would put all his effort into seeing that it happened.
“That’s why it’s important for us to be here today, for him, since he’s no longer with us.”