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Plantation Alliance Donates 6 Acres to Merriwether Fire Department in
web posted September 19, 2012
MERRIWETHER – With the growing population
of the Merriwether area the Merriwether Fire Department is doing its
best to keep up with adding the number of needed fire stations in the
district to provide proper coverage, which in turns substantially
lowers fire insurance costs to area residents. Plantation Alliance
owner Mike Hooker made that expansion a lot cheaper by donating 6 acres
of property in Mt. Vintage to the Merriwether Fire Department.
Mr. Hooker said the property is located across from the Mt. Vintage
Community Center at a location he and Merriwether Fire Chief Joey Smith
picked out and they have been in discussions about the property for
some time. Hooker added that prior attempts by Chief Smith with the
developer and the home owners association to find a location never
That is when Plantation Alliance stepped forward and donated the land.
Mr. Hooker said his company is not affiliated with the developers, they
own the golf course, community center, and surrounding property,
including the 6 acre tract being donated.
"The construction of a new fire station here at Mount Vintage is a
win/win for all," Mr. Hooker said. He added the benefit reaches out
beyond the development by helping the fire department, "significantly
improve their services to their district, the county and the Mt.
That thought was echoed by Merriwether Fire Chief Joey Smith. "The
Merriwether Fire Dept. is very excited about the land donation and the
building of a fire station in Mt Vintage. It has been a two year search
and we finally found a usable parcel and have acquired it thanks to
Plantation Alliance," Fire Chief Joey Smith said. "At the present time
we are in the planning stages because of the uniqueness of the station,
we will have to hire an architect to design it to mirror the Town
Center. We want it to be an asset not only as an emergency response
station but add to the beauty of Mt. Vintage. We would hope that the
construction could start sometime in 2013 depending on financing."
"The station will be constructed with two bays and will house an engine
(pumper) and an EMS type first response vehicle," Chief Smith said.
Mr. Hooker said there was more to having a station located inside the
development than just the feeling of security. "Having a beautiful fire
station with full EMS services, centrally located in a community like
Mount Vintage is terrific. Kids and adults love fire stations, they’re
fun to visit, and they’re comforting with a sense of security for all
in the community. In my opinion, fire stations are very American and
Chief Smith said that the last ISO rating showed the Merriwether Fire
Department needed to add four additional stations to reduce residents
fire insurance rates.
"The Mt. Vintage station is the large piece of the puzzle that will
eliminate one of those stations. Adding this station in Mt. Vintage
will benefit all those covered in our district," he said.
"We at Merriwether Fire Department strive everyday to provide the best
service we can for the citizens we serve. The construction of to Mt.
Vintage station and the Sweetwater station are for the people," Smith
said. "We know it is a large capital outlay for the department; however
the savings in insurance will be realized in insurance premium
reductions (for residents)."
The second station is being added at the 4 acre tract
of property being
given to the county by the Cooper family that was recently
Mr. Hooker would not give a value of the property other than to say it
is, "premier property overlooking the golf course."
Concilman Rodney Ashcraft who represets the area said, "I was
pleased to hear that such a donation was made. I know that Joey (Smith)
and Mike (Hooker) had been talking because I was there and involved in
the beginning. However I had not heard anything in a while. This is
great for the surrounding communities but another advantage is that the
volunteers associated with this fire station will be able to
expeditiously serve communities to the north including the Rainsford
Road area despite the discrepancies in fire district lines."
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Edgefield Daily and/or parent company ECL and
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