YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. – A new fire station is in the future for Towns County Fire and Rescue in Young Harris, with a bid package offered on the project as of today.
“We’re going to build a firehouse in Young Harris,” Towns County Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw stated. “Originally, I wanted to use detainee labor to build it complete, everything. We can’t do that.”
Bradshaw explained that after consulting with Towns County Building Inspector John Paul Peoples, the commissioner learned that 17-foot high walls, and 14-foot doors, are necessary for construction. The initial construction will involve professionals, with detainees joining in the effort thereafter.
“What we are going to do is put a bid package together,” Bradshaw explained. “We’re going to put a metal building out for bid. Not the slab, not the plumbing right now, because we’re going to contract most of that out ourselves to try and save money. Then, of course, we’ll take the best bid when the bids come in, to see who’s most qualified, learn their history.
“Then after that, we will use detainee labor to go in and frame the walls for the bathroom, the front office, and then we are going to have like a day-room,” Bradshaw continued. “We are going to build the building with the future in mind that if we ever had a full-time fire department that there would be a shower there with a bathroom, and then a room with a bed, and stuff like that. It’s a lot cheaper to try and do it now than add on later.”
Commissioner Bradshaw said the county has yet to set a due date for placed bids, but hopes to announce the bids at his July 17 meeting.
“This fire house is going to be a drive-through. It will have two bay doors on the back, big garage doors, and two on the front so that you can drive all the way through. The fire trucks will sit in there bumper-to-bumper, and in case of an emergency, they just hit the button, raise the door, and out they go,” Bradshaw added.
The Young Harris fire station will be built on state Route 66, approximately 1.25 miles from U.S. Highway 76. The current station is located in the former Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) building, a few blocks west of Young Harris College.