Thursday, April 1, 2010

Fire Station No. 6 - Closed A Full Year (and still counting)

Today marks thirteen full months since the closing of Fire Station No. 6 due to damage caused by an accumulation of snow on its roof. Though we may have recently passed the first anniversary of the event, there is every indication that there will be several others.

To recap, the Unified Government summarily abandoned the facility immediately upon the big snowfall of 01 March, 2009, reassigning its personnel and equipment to other stations. Rather than use the insurance settlement to repair the roof, thereby reopening the station as soon as possible, the Unified Government sought “economic stimulus” funds from the Obama Administration’s $787 billion slush fund to rebuild Station No. 6 in its entirety. As an aside, Station No 2, which has similarly experienced some construction-related woes over the years, was constructed at the same time as Station No. 6. Interestingly, the SPLOST 2011 citizen advisory committee has recommended building a new Station No. 2 with the anticipated sales tax revenue, though any such consideration of Station No. 6 is conspicuous by its absence.

I disagree strongly with the approach being taken with regard to Station No. 6; there being no particular need to rehash my previous arguments as to why, see these posts from last March, April, May, June, July, and December. Even so, I will concede that if ever there was a “shovel-ready” project, this would have seemed to be it. So what is the hold-up, other than the fact that the entire stimulus bill was a complete scam?

The most recent word from the Unified Government on the matter dates from last summer. It has been followed by months and months of deafening silence. The vacant building has remained undisturbed for more than a year, surrounded by a hastily-erected chain-link fence – complete with padlocks no less (the accompanying picture was taken just a couple of weeks ago by yours truly).

This is an election year. So, will the ongoing second-class status of the formerly unincorporated area of the county be a campaign issue? I seriously doubt it, as I am about the only candidate to make an issue of it in the last several election cycles. I daresay that the voters will be treated yet another litany of more “sustainable” this, more “green” that, more TDR nonsense, more bike paths, more Green Belt expansion, more development restrictions, more deletions from the Service Delivery Plan, etcetera.  The core services that a local government is supposed to provide are but an afterthought, especially for those folks living in the hinterland.

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