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Commissioners could decide fire station fate Monday

SALISBURY — Rowan commissioners could vote on an additional Atwell Volunteer Fire station at Monday’s commissioners meeting.
Firefighters have proposed the construction of a substation on Unity Church Road in the southwestern part of the county. Fire officials said some residents who live outside Atwell’s 5-mile radius have seen soaring insurance rates.
Commissioners have the option of voting on the substation or tabling the request.
Rowan County fire inspector Deborah Horne said the substation would significantly drop rates for residents who were found to be outside the optimal coverage range.
Horne said some residents who were too far away were handed level 10 ratings, equivalent to that of no fire coverage.
In a phone interview Friday, she emphasized all residents still have coverage, but the substation would cause insurance rates for those rated as level 9 or 10 to drop.
“We’re real happy the fire departments have taken it upon themselves to make sure none of the citizens have a 10 rating,” Horne said. “No one in the county has no coverage. Everyone is covered.”
Frank Greene, public information officer for Atwell Fire, said the department has been looking at building a substation since 2011. Property on Unity Church Road has already been purchased.
“We’re in the middle of pre-qualifying general contractors,” Greene said. “We’ve got a set of plans that are up in Salisbury being reviewed.”
Greene said the department doesn’t plan to staff the substation, but at least one fire truck is already slated to be housed there.
“We’re trying to come up with a good mix of economy and functionality and trying to do the right thing,” he said.
Once the substation is built, the impact will be nearly instant, Greene said.
“A lot of people will see some insurance relief,” he said.
The Rowan County Board of Commissioners meets Monday at 3 p.m. at 130 West Innes Street in the J. Newton Cohen Sr. room.
Contact reporter Nathan Hardin at 704-797-4246.

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