Jackson County will spend $5.3 million to build a fire training facility.
The board of commissioners approved a contract of that amount with New South Construction to serve as the construction manager Monday night.
Firemen from across the county attended the BOC meeting but none spoke. The board’s vote on the contract was unanimous.
The project is being funded with special purpose local option sales tax revenue. The public safety training complex will be on a 20-acre site on the county farm complex in Jefferson. It will include a burn tower, fire station and training classrooms. The facility will also house the JCCI Fire Brigade.
Chairman Pat Bell questioned the cost of operating the facility. Commissioner Tom Crow said there should not be any additional operating cost.
“The fire station that is existing on the hill (the correctional institute) is already under the budget and they will be moved to that location,” Crow said. “There should not be any changes to their cost of operation. The cost of operation of the new station should be the same as the old station ... There may be some increase in the cost of utilities because of the increase in the size of the building.”
Commissioner Bruce Yates questioned the $800,000 cost for a practice area at the training facility. Crow said a large area is needed because of the size and weight of the newer trucks.