Officials pinpoint area for second fire station

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

SUNSET BEACH—Town officials on Monday outlined the geographical feasibility of locating a second fire station in the vicinity of N.C. 904, south of Georgetown Road.

Town administrator Gary Parker said that’s also the location recommended by an N.C. Insurance Commission representative, who has been working with town fire chief Chris Barbee on a prospective fire station.

Right now, Parker said the fire station on Shoreline Drive is about six miles from the recently annexed Sandpiper Bay residential area. If a second station is located in the N.C. 904 area, the distance is reduced to slightly less than three miles.

Having a second station in that targeted area would also reduce the distance to Beach Drive, toward the far reaches of the Ocean Isle Beach district, which would reduce the distance from three miles to approximately one, he said.

“This in our opinion is an excellent location to put a second fire station,” Parker said. “And it has some advantages to other property that has been under consideration.”

Council also approved a staff-recommended contract negotiation with AshBritt Environmental of Pompano Beach, Fla., for debris removal and disaster recovery for the town.

Parker said the move is part the town’s hurricane preparedness efforts and the measure will only be activated by the town based on need after an event causes disaster or just prior to an event such as a hurricane.

The service is for a three-year period with optional three-year renewal.

Sunset Beach Mayor Ronald Klein said the measure is a way to be proactive, “rather than wait for castastrophe and see who can come help us.”

Parker noted all of the firms considered were heavily involved in Hurricane Katrina recovery, which involved many contractors and subcontractors.

The company, he said, has agreements and understandings with smaller firms in every state, including the coastal and inland Carolinas.

“In that last couple of days before landfall, they’ll make sure they’re ready, equipment is available and persons are available,” Parker said. “As [a storm] gets closer, this contractor sends persons and they get set up and bring in mobile communications. There’s a lot of work in the preparation to provide service to the community.”

Council also approved adding local community and business links to the town’s Web site (www.sunsetbeachnc.gov).

The cost is a $25 one-time fee to be added to the page link. In return, the town would ask participants to link back to the town as well.

In addition, council approved:

•Renewal of a mutual assistance agreement with the neighboring town of Ocean Isle Beach. “It’s a yearly agreement we sign, if they need assistance from us and vice versa,” Sunset Beach Police Chief Lisa Massey said.

•The disposition of aging town vehicles with high mileage—a 2002 Ford F150 truck and 1999 Chevrolet Blazer.

•Having the next monthly council meeting at 6:45 p.m. Sept. 8 since the first Monday of the month is Labor Day.