A plan for a North Columbia Fire and Rescue station near Eubank Blanchard Community Center was recently tweaked by county officials to keep costs more in line with budgeted figures.
Pam Tucker, Columbia County's emergency services director, said the new station will be moved a couple hundred feet from its original planned site, but the station is still on schedule.
"It will be on the same property, but it will be facing Ray Owens (Road),'' Tucker said.
Originally, the station, which is set to open in about a year, was budgeted to cost $800,000 and would have been connected to Eubank Blanchard Community Center with a covered walkway.
A recently revised look at the original plan's cost, however, was $1.4 million, causing Columbia County officials to consider moving the site to a less expensive location and bring the project closer to its budgeted figure.
"So much of that (amount over the budgeted figure) was site work,'' Tucker said, adding that site work wasn't a problem at the new location.
The issue of the cost was discussed at a Monday community and emergency services committee meeting as officials asked for about $14,000 in costs by a consultant to have the building's design moved to the new location.
Tucker said the county is now in line with its budget and that the new location will be better in the long run because it will provide a buffer between the station and those who might be parking at the community center for an event.
To keep the figure in line with the budget, she said, some of the station's administration space was reduced. But "as it grows and the needs increase in that area, everything will already be prepared, site-work wise, to go ahead and expand (the station).''
In other action at Monday's meeting, the following also was discussed: Commissioner Tommy Mercer asked that the gymnasium at Patriots Park be named after Bobby Waters, who died in July and was chairman of the county's Recreation Advisory Board; Barry Smith, the county's director of community and leisure services, requested $15,000 for travel expenses for the county's newly created arena committee to visit arenas in Georgia and South Carolina; and the creation of a Columbia County Monument and Public Art Committee was announced.
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