RICHLANDS, N.C. (WNCT) – The Richlands Volunteer Fire Department now has the land it needs to grow. This comes after the Onslow County Board of Commissioners approved the sale of a parcel of land to the department Monday night.
“We understand the necessity for fire departments especially in a growing community like Richlands to meet the needs,”said Chairman Barbara Ikner, Onslow County Board of Commissioners.
The building that currently houses the volunteer fire department was built in the 1960’s and presents numerous challenges to the crews that work there on a daily basis.
“We’re limited by the type of equipment we can put in it because trucks have gotten bigger not smaller. And of course the shape of the building, built in 1965 so the cost of repairing this would be enormous. So we want to build a new one to help better serve the community and better prepare our volunteers for what they’ve got coming ahead of them,” said Deputy Chief Michael Jarman, Richlands Volunteer Fire Department.
The new site is located next to the Richlands town hall near Wilmington Street and Pete Jones Road. The department will pay $133,000 for it. The deputy chief says response times will improve with the new location because the department will be located directly off Highway 258. Plans and permits are already in place for the proposed structure. The 11,000 square foot facility will also include 6 sleeping spaces.
The department will continue to operate out of its current building until the new one is built. Currently, the department rents its location for $1 per year from the town.
The Onslow County Board of Commissioners is voting Monday night on a proposal to sell land to the Richlands Volunteer Fire Department.
The department’s deputy chief said the department needs the land and it will benefit the community.
The land would allow the Richlands Volunteer Fire Department to not only build the bigger building, it would also improve response times.
The proposed lot is located next to the Richlands Town Hall and currently owned by the county.
The fire department is willing to pay $133,000 for it.
Plans and permits are already in place for the proposed 11,000 square foot facility.
Deputy chief Michael Jarman said one of the main issues is the facility is too small for updated fire trucks.
“We’ve got way more call volume than we had 10, 15 years ago, so we’re having to use the equipment and the station more so than ever and it’s getting more wear and tear,” explained Deputy Chief Michael Jarman, Richlands Volunteer Fire Department. “So we’ve got to get something more up to date that will help alleviate some of that.”
If approved, the department would continue to operate out of the building until the new facility is built.
The department rents the current location for one dollar per year from the town.
The board of commissioners is meeting in less than an hour to vote on the sale.