By Paul T. Choate
May 3, 2012. On Sunday, May 6, the Meat Camp Fire Department will host a groundbreaking program for their new facility that is hoping to be completed by the end of the year. The groundbreaking will take place at 3 p.m. at 4797 Highway 194 North in the Meat Camp Community. Light refreshments will be provided at the event.
“When fire service originally began in our community, the first meetings were held in 1971 and the building was finished in ’72,” said Nancy Moretz, secretary for the board of directors of the Meat Camp Fire Department. “The fire station isn’t large enough and there was no place there to expand.”
Moretz also added that the groundbreaking was happening at almost the same time as the 40th anniversary of the Meat Camp Fire Department building.
“We had to do an extensive search to find land. We needed to stay in as close a proximity to the existing station as we could because Watauga County recently went through a process of redistricting. This was to try to get each resident within six miles of a fire station if they could,” said Moretz. “We didn’t want to have to change the district lines any more than what had to be done.”
Moretz said hopefully construction for the new facility will begin in May, and added that they hope to be finished near the end of 2012.
The current fire station has four bays for fire trucks. The new facility will have six. It will also include a large training room and gym, dormitories in anticipation of having some paid staff, a full kitchen, offices and a place for first responders.
Moretz said hopefully the facility will be serviceable for 40 to 50 years at least.