City inks $1.5M deal for new fire station

Apr. 28—VALDOSTA — Valdosta City Council voted to add a new fire station facility to Inner Perimeter Road to the tune of $1.5 million.

According to City Manager Richard Hardy's report, much of the city's new growth has been in the broad area of the city limits to the north and northeast of Inner Perimeter Road.

Fire Station No. 5 on North Oak Street Extension serves the area, which still has an abundance of vacant lands which would allow even more growth and development over time, thus increasing the demands on Station 5.

Continued northerly growth and development of the city prompted the need to construct an additional fire station to service this expanding area of the city, city officials said. During the past 12-plus months, city staff examined the area to find an optimal location that is both suitable and available for placement of a fire station.

The search led to the existing building site located at 4434 N. Forrest St. Ext., which is owned and occupied by First Church of the Nazarene Valdosta. City Council authorized Hardy to negotiate with the owner for the purchase and acquisition of the property.

The negotiated price for the entire property is $1,525,00 which includes a separate leaseback agreement that allows the church to remain on the property as the city's tenant for a full year — with the possibility of re-negotiated extension.

The church will utilize the leaseback period to find a suitable new location. The city will use this period to complete its renovation design plans for conversion of the facility to a fire station, prepare construction plans, select a contractor, actually perform the construction and then ready the facility for use.