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Murfreesboro ponders building addition

MURFREESBORO—To build an additional bay on the former Murfreesboro Rescue Squad building or not to build an additional bay?

That was the question up for debate during the Murfreesboro Town Council meeting held Tuesday afternoon.

Town officials are moving along with their plans to expand their emergency services facilities and housing a Hertford County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) truck in Murfreesboro.

At the meeting, the Murfreesboro Town Council agreed to renovate the meeting room in the old rescue squad building in preparation of the Murfreesboro Volunteer Fire Department (MVFD) relocating there.

The council also directed Town Administrator Cathy Davison to seek additional bids on a dividing wall for the current fire department. The wall will help prepare that building to house a county EMS truck as well as provide an evidence room for the Murfreesboro Police Department (MPD).

Meanwhile, Public Safety Director and Police Chief Darrell Rowe will be studying the cost of placing a cage storage unit in the evidence room in order to keep it secure.

Council members along with Rowe and Davison discussed the matter at length before the decision, including whether or not to add an additional bay to the former rescue squad building in order to house MVFD’s ladder truck.

However, with the additional bay the town’s insurance company, Inter Local Risk Financial Fund of North Carolina, suggested an exhaust fan be installed (as required by the National Fire Protection Code) to pull diesel fumes from the air inside the building.

Paul Miller with the North Carolina League of Municipalities (which the town’s insurer falls under), said placing the exhaust system in the building would help the town avoid workman’s compensation issues in the future when the department moved to full-time firefighters.

A base bid for a bay (not including electric wiring and the exhaust system) is $48,000.

Rowe voiced a concern for the planned MPD evidence room as there was a $1,500 bid for a commercial graded sheet rock dividing wall.

“In my opinion that is not secure enough,” said Rowe, referring to the items that will be kept in the room.

Davison said originally there was an approximately $6,100 bid for a cinder block wall.

Rowe said from his standpoint as public safety director he was in favor of the bay.

“My recommendation is to go ahead and fix the building, but do not dismiss an additional bay,” said Rowe.

Rowe continued by saying that adding an additional bay could be cost effective to the town as the rescue squad building would take care of the fire department, leaving only a police department to build.

Davison recommended that council hold off on building the additional bay as it was the intent of the town to build a public safety building in the future.

Mayor Pro-Tem Molly Eubank, who also serves as the town’s fire and police commissioner, recommended the town move forward with construction of the meeting room for the former rescue squad building and the dividing wall.

Eubank said the town should plan for the future, but in the meantime, they should to focus on the urgent needs of the town’s emergency services.

“In the face of things they need a place now,” she said.

Rowe said he would research the cost of having a caged-in portion of the evidence storage room.

In the end, council members decided to focus on the immediate needs of emergency services, which includes housing a county EMS truck in the town.

The measure passed without objection.