Monday, March 24, 2014
Seven shovels slit moist grass and tender dirt. That was the sound Goose Creek firefighters and other city officials heard the morning of March 20.
Goose Creek Fire Chief Steve Chapman, Mayor Michael Heitzler and City Council members Kimo Esarey, John McCants, Franklin Moore, Mark Phillips and Jerry Tekac broke ground on the new fire station headquarters near 200 Button Hall Avenue.
The Button Hall headquarters will be a 34,000 square-foot structure with architecture that recalls the early colonial period, Heitzler said.
The land is near the road to what once was Button Hall Plantation. The road to the plantation ran along what is now a clearing for steel power lines.
“This will bring some of the past glory and past importance,” Heitzler said. “We’re going to hire 12 new firefighters.”
The city faced the challenge of finding money to hire new firefighters without raising taxes. Heitzler said it’s difficult to fund building new fire stations and even more difficult to fund personnel.
The city hopes to have this and a substation open by mid-2015 and no later than the third quarter of 2015. The groundbreaking ceremony was for the new headquarters station and substation.
The city will need to borrow $7.5 million to build the two new fire stations.
The substation will be located off Old Mt. Holly Road behind Lowe’s. This will make for a total of three fire stations in the city.
Heitzler said Councilmember Marguerite Brown could not be there but would have probably reflected on the groundbreaking of the fire house at Farm Road and U.S. 176 that was built there 35 years ago.
There was a shovel and hard-hat in place for her. She is the longest-serving councilmember.