July 11, 2006
With Fluvanna County's population growing every year, there's a greater need for public service. Now Palmyra's Volunteer Fire Company has outgrown the building they're in.
Fred Lewis is one of the originals with the Palmyra Volunteer Fire Department. The 79-year-old joined in 1955.
"Back then we had a little fire house we could barley squeeze two vehicles into," said Lewis.
Although the fire department has since moved to a bigger facility, space for the 30-member squad is once again tight, especially with Fluvanna growing at a rate of about 24 percent over the past five years.
"The fire station has had to add some equipment to meet some of the needs for growth in the county and the size of the station that they're in now, which is under the County Administration building is just too small to house everything," said Fluvanna County Public Works Director John Robins.
"The building is so cramped that we have padding around the supports on the building to keep from butting doors up and beating the doors up on the truck when we open them," said Fluvanna Volunteer Fire Department Chief Mike Brent. "One truck has to be pulled out to get the other one out."
After years of planning, construction on a new fire house is now underway. Sitting right next to the Palmyra School building along Route 15, the $1.6 million project features six bays for fire trucks, a meeting room, kitchen facilities and sleeping quarters. That's compared to the current three bays and one small room at the existing firehouse.
"This is a big deal. We can't wait to get in there and get settled. This is something completely new for us and of course for the county," said Chief Brent.
Lewis, who is still involved with the fire department, also can't wait to move into the state of the art building.
"I've been excited. I've been keeping an eye on it ever since we got the land about 10, 12 years ago," he said.
This marks the first fire station the county themselves have built. It's scheduled to be completed by March of 2007.