Weddington to hold forum on Providence VFD

WEDDINGTON – After months of discussions with the Providence Volunteer Fire Department about needed upgrades, the Weddington Town Council will hold a public hearing to get input from area residents on the plan before moving forward.

The meeting, on June 10 at town hall, will outline what improvements are needed at the fire department at 5025 Hemby Road. Providence VFD first approached the council when they learned the facilities used by the department are not up to code.

“Normally you just give the fire department (money) and they renovate the building and they still own it.  What we are doing is saying the taxpayers are going to own that building,” Mayor Pro Tem Daniel Barry said in an interview with the Union County Weekly earlier this month.  “… Then we are going to rent the building back on a long-term lease to (the fire department).”

Town officials have to sort through the bids for the renovations and decide the best path for Weddington to take before discussing the costs at the public hearing.  No estimates have been given as of now.

“We are working through the details with our town attorney and our financial officers to assess what the appropriate avenues are to acquire the property,” Barry said this week.

Council also voted May 3 to approve up to $220,000 for renovations on the back, or second, building owned by Providence VFD prior to working on the renovations for the main facility. Firefighters will have to work out of the second building while the main building is renovated.

The town has given the fire department $51,559 for upgrades to the sprinkler systems and water main and $5,300 for the tap-on fee, which comes from Union County Public Works for the use of county water.  All payments made to the fire department so far are part of the $220,000 in total renovations, and both items already paid for will not have to be done again when renovating the main building.

The public hearing will take place at 7 p.m. during the regular town council meeting in the town hall, 1924 Weddington Road.

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