The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Stafford Station 14 getting a new home
BY KATIE THISDELL
One of Stafford County’s fire stations no longer offers adequate housing for its crews.
A 1920s farmhouse in North Stafford has been a temporary home for Station 14 for the past three years.
But continually deteriorating conditions have led to safety and health concerns for the career fire and rescue personnel who staff the station.
Last night, the Stafford Board of Supervisors approved overdue changes to the site at 53 Shelton Shop Road.
The one-story house will be razed and a temporary modular building will be installed in its place, at a cost of about $150,000.
“It’s a great location and fits the county needs,” Supervisor Jack Cavalier said. “The facility is just atrocious. The fact of the matter is the sooner we move out and improve the facility, the better we’ll be.”
The house was originally planned as a temporary solution for a gap in coverage in the northwestern area of Stafford.
To prevent insurance reclassifications, emergency service staff moved from the Mountain View fire station to rented property at the area of Shelton Shop and Garrisonville roads.
Station 14 is staffed 100 percent of the time by a career unit.
A metal shed was built behind the farmhouse to house one fire engine.
In July 2010, the county purchased the 4.8-acre property for $1 million.
The farmhouse was only supposed to be a 12- to 18-month solution, starting in November 2008.
But the construction of a permanent building has been moved back in the Capital Improvements Plan until at least 2018.
According to a county report, problems in the existing house include significant roof damage, water leaks that have led to a ceiling collapse, inadequate plumbing and environmental concerns, including asbestos.
Rotten wood siding has allowed squirrels, mice, raccoons and snakes to make homes in the attic, basement and living areas. Significant repairs are needed to completely get rid of these animals, according to the report.
“I think they tried to scare us with stories of snakes and other varmints in boots and such,” Cavalier told the board about a meeting of the public safety committee, which recommends the project.
Already, the county has spent nearly $92,000 on operations and repairs to the station.
Rather than spending an estimated $253,000 on needed improvements to the property, supervisors instead decided that a modular station would fix the problems, at a lower cost of $150,000.
The county intends to use the modular unit elsewhere as needed after a permanent building is constructed.
There is no timeline set yet for the installation.
Katie Thisdell: 540/735-1975