EAST SPENCER, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — A small Rowan County town is pushing forward with plans to apply for a federal loan to build a new fire station.
East Spencer Fire Chief Shawn McBride says their lone station is 33 years old, with only one bathroom and no place for their firefighters to sleep.
Instead, firefighters sleep in an annex building about 100 feet away.
“Whenever they get a call, they have to run from that building to this building to get in their fire gear and get the trucks out the door,” said McBride. “The current station floods when we have heavy rain. The roof leaks as well. There’s no space inside of the station for the guys to actually put their turn-out gear on to actually get on the truck.”
Town officials previously asked the state for $14 million to fund a new municipal building that would house the town hall, police department and fire department. The state only granted $2 million.
Plan B is to ask the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a $5 million loan that could go towards a fire station.
“We need help,” said McBride. “The main thing that we’re looking for is to build a fire station for the community. For the kids to be able to come to the fire station and have some place where they can actually go inside and not feel discredit just from looking at the outside or the inside of the station.”
The town must submit their application by the end of the year. Before that, town leaders said they’ll hold a community meeting to discuss the need with taxpayers.