SPRING VALLEY — Keith Reaves said a new satellite fire station on Alabama 20 should speed up the Spring Valley Volunteer Fire Department’s response time and reduce homeowners’ insurance rates.
Reaves, who became fire chief after the death of Chief Wayne West this past summer, said they hope to start construction soon with the aid of a $21,000 grant secured by state Sen. Tammy Irons, D-Florence.
“We’re trying to drop the insurance rates in that area,” Reaves said.
Spring Valley’s main fire station is on LaGrange Road, about 10 minutes south of the new station.
Colbert County commissioners agreed to lease the fire department property large enough for a building and parking lot.
The lot will be on Alabama 20 on county property partially occupied by the Road Department.
“What we’re looking at right now is a 40- by 80-foot building big enough to handle three trucks,” Reaves said.
He said they plan to keep a rescue truck, a pumper and tanker truck at the satellite station.
“We’re going to try and do some kind of loft with beds in case of bad weather,” he said.
Coroner Carlton Utley told commissioners the department works numerous accidents along Alabama 20 and old Alabama 20.
Reaves said a station on Alabama 20 will help firefighters respond quicker to wrecks in that area and fires in the Aycock Heights area and subdivisions along Three Mile Lane.
The Spring Valley Fire Department is in Commissioner Roger Creekmore’s district.
“There’s a significant amount of traffic accidents down there,” he said. “Having a response truck closer, a matter of blocks, will certainly make their response time faster. Folks may enjoy a decrease in their insurance premiums.”
Creekmore said the county owns about 20 acres at the site of the Road Department, and there is room to lease the fire department roughly an acre.
“We’ve certainly got space that we can put to use for the greater benefit of the people,” Creekmore said. “The fire department is investing the money for the building.”
The commission voted unanimously to provide property for the fire station.
Reaves said the department will get the foundation poured and attempt to get a portion of the steel building erected with the grant money.
Fundraisers such as bean and spaghetti dinners and donations will make up the difference.
“We’re hoping people will help,” Reaves said. “We’re trying to make things better for the community.”
Russ Corey can be reached at 256-740-5738 or russ.corey@TimesDaily.com.