Flovilla city officials on Friday cut the ribbon on the fire department’s new station expansion.
The addition to the station adds 1,850 square feet of space to the fire department’s headquarters, which until now had included only space for parking vehicles in a 2,500-square-foot bay adjacent to City Hall and limited office space.
Flovilla Fire Chief Shane Thompson said the addition, paid for with special purpose local option sales tax funds, gives the fire department an in-door training room, office space and a common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, laundry facilities and two bunk rooms separated by a Jack-and-Jill bathroom.
“We’re really excited about the new addition we have to the fire station,” Flovilla Mayor Beth Burns Ogletree said in welcoming guests to Friday’s ribbon-cutting, hosted in partnership with the Butts County Chamber of Commerce. “This is SPLOST money, so it’s for our community. It’s tax dollars that we’re using to help our community.”
Thompson said cabinet makers American Woodmark donated the cabinetry for the facility, and provided a donation for countertops that have not yet been installed. He said the Butts County Sheriff’s Office also contributed to the project through the use of inmate labor.
“We had total support from the county commissioners, [Butts County] Fire Chief [Mike] Wilson, Assistant Fire Chief [Randy] Prince and the city council here. And Beth’s been a great boss and has given us all kind of support,” Thompson said.
Officials broke ground on the project in April 2018 after the Flovilla City Council approved spending up to $124,000 on the project, Thompson said. Whitaker Builders and Supply was the contractor on the project.
In addition to Thompson, the Flovilla Fire Department is staffed by 10 volunteer firefighters.
“We were training in inclement weather, in the heat, and in the winter we were training in the cold,” Thompson said. “This is the first time we’ve had classrooms with an air conditioner or heat. We have bathrooms accessible to us. We feel like it’s a normal fire department now. We never had a station before. Basically we had a bay and we were training in the bay.”
Thompson said the addition will allow the station to be manned around the clock in times of emergency, giving firefighters a place to rest and have meals between calls.
During the ribbon-cutting ceremony, state Rep. Susan Holmes, R-Monticello, read a resolution recognizing the Flovilla Fire Department’s accomplishments in fundraising for the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation and commending its firefighters for their service.
“I am so proud of this building and all of you who have just worked so hard,” Holmes said. “This is just so wonderful. I’m proud of it for you and I’m so grateful to you folks.”