County celebrates new Avondale fire stationAvondale Estates and DeKalb County officials shovel some dirt to mark the groundbreaking of the new fire station in Avondale Estates. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt
DeKalb County CEO Lee May said Avondale Estates needed a new fire station.
“This facility had gotten to the point where it almost should’ve been condemned,” May said, standing in the sweltering heat at the site of the new fire station on Clarendon Avenue.
May gathered with county and city officials on June 19 for the official ground breaking for the new Fire Station No. 3. May said the station would be completed in the spring of 2015.
Elected officials thanked each other for moving the project forward.
“I couldn’t even name all the names,” Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton said. “Public safety is No. 1 and we are doing what’s important for the community.”
DeKalb County Commissioners approved awarding the construction contract in January, a $2 million project that will be mostly paid for with federal money.
While the station is located in Avondale Estates, 80 percent of the fire station’s territory is unincorporated DeKalb County. The project had been delayed for years and as May indicated, the old station was in dire need of repair. The old fire station was built in 1949. There were holes in the ceiling in the garage. There weren’t separate bathrooms and showers for male and female firefighters. A shed at the back of the building was only partially used, because the top half wasn’t safe. The list of problems went on and on.
“The quality of life in any community rests on the foundation of its public safety apparatus,” May said.
Fire Chief Darnell Fullum said the station will also be a community gathering place. He said the new station will be twice as big as the old one. It will have three bays and a community room where people can drop by and “get your blood pressure checked.”
“This station will stand for many, many years,” Fullum said.
Fullum also said the fire engine for station No. 3 will be replaced soon.
Avondale Estates Mayor Pro Tem Terry Giager spoke on behalf of the city, as Mayor Ed Rieker was out of the country on Thursday.
“We just are very, very thankful for all the support the city and county have given us making this come to fruition,” Giager said.