New station closer to the action

The county broke ground Monday at land where a new fire station will go up for the Stone Mill Creek Volunteer Fire Department.

The new station will be located on Stone Mill Creek Road just down from the intersection with State 71.

That puts the station 3.4 miles closer to State 71 than the current station located near Gulf Correctional Institution.

Given the population dynamics of the area, the new station will also be closer to the vast majority of its calls.

“Ninety-nine percent of the calls they get are nowhere near” the current location, said County Commissioner Ward McDaniel, whose District 2 includes Stone Mill Creek.

“This will give better protection to the entire north end of the county.”

The land for the new station, roughly 1.8 acres, was donated by Mr. and Mrs. Charles Pitts to the county for the sole purpose of building a geographically-close fire station.

A $400,000 state appropriation for such emergency facilities in rural counties, was secured by State Sen. Denise Grimsley (R-District 26), who spoke during Monday’s ceremonies.

The $400,000 should cover the building construction, McDaniel said, noting the plans will mirror those for the White City Fire Station, which was built for a similar amount.

And, a major plus in a wet county, the land, McDaniel said, is “high and dry.”

“It is good property, a good location,” McDaniel said. “Gulf County has the property and (money for the building) without paying anything.”