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China Grove moving toward expanding fire, police station

By Jessie Burchette
jburchette@salisburypost.com
CHINA GROVE ó Town officials have hired a Charlotte architectural firm to take the first steps to expand and renovate the town’s fire and police station on North Main Street.
Aldermen voted Tuesday night to hire ALR Architecture to do basic plans and an overall assessment of the facility. The cost will be $5,970.
Part of the work will include a detailed cost estimate, which is a required first step for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Loan application.
The final configuration hasn’t been decided. One of the options still on the table includes moving the police department to the current Town Hall on Swink Street, and moving Town Hall to Main Street.
Another plan calls to switch the police department to the current fire department and then add space on the south side for the fire department with a multi-bay equipment area, sleeping quarters, fitness area and offices
A committee including Aldermen Allen Welter and Butch Bivens and town officials has worked for nearly six months on the plans to revamp the building, which was originally a car dealership.
Former Police Chief Hodge Coffield repeatedly cited problems with the building, including lack of space, noise and fumes from the adjacent fire department.
And the fire department has struggled with leaks, broken concrete and difficulties getting the large trucks in and out of the tight-fitting door on to Main Street.
In a letter to town officials, William Ashlin of ALR Architecture outlined the planned assessment, including a review by a structural engineer and electrical engineer.
Officials noted that a prior study and environment assessment of the building concluded that it is structurally sound and can be renovated.
Plans call to switch the police department to the current fire department and then add space on the south side for the fire department with a multi-bay equipment area, sleeping quarters, fitness area and offices.
In other matters, the board:
– Approved a resolution call on the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to allocate federal stimulus finds, Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) for construction of a new Yadkin River Bridge on I-85 and completion of widening of the highway.
Rowan County and several other municipalities have passed similar resolutions.
– Accepted the county’s solid waste management plan as the town’s plan for 2009.
– Set a special meeting for June 22 at 5:30 p.m. at the Municipal Building. The session will be to adopt budget amendments. The current fiscal year ends June 30.
Contact Jessie Burchette at 704-797-4254.

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