Currently, there are 11 fire stations servicing the roughly 300 square miles in the unincorporated areas of Walton County. Previously there were 12 – that is until the summer of 2018 when Station 12 and Station 3 were combined into the one new Station 3 on Highway 81 in the Loganville area.
But that’s about to change. In a couple of weeks, construction will begin on the new Station 12 that will be located next to the recreation area of the Hard Labor Creek Reservoir in the Social Circle area of the county.
At a meeting of the Joint Hard Labor Creek Reservoir Management Board and the Walton County Water and Sewer Authority, officials voted to transfer 3 acres of property from the WCW&SA to Walton County for the construction of a new fire station next to the recreation area of the Hard Labor Creek Reservoir. There has been a temporary fire station at that location in the meantime where Walton County Fire Rescue Engine 12 has been housed. Walton County Board of Commissioners Chairman Kevin Little said the new station will be constructed along the same lines as the two newest WCFR facilities at Jacks Creek Road station and on Highway 81.
“There are a couple of changes to the interior, but it will be much the same,” Little said. “We expect to break ground around Feb. 20.”
Little said WCFR Engine 12 would continue to operate out of the new station once it is complete. Station 3 on Highway 81 was a 6,300-square-foot facility featuring two bays housing a fire station, a district truck and an ambulance. Walton County formed and began training a special ops team in 2015 in advance of the opening of the recreation area at Hard Labor Creek Reservoir and now owns and operates a rescue / dive boat that provides emergency support for reservoirs, rivers and lakes in the area.
In other business at the meeting, officials voted to use the balance of $7,100 withheld from E & P General Contractors and make a claim of $5,000 on the surety bond to make up the $12,000 needed to complete the restroom facilities at the recreation area at the reservoir that the contractors had not completed. The water at the drinking fountain has remained switched off pending completion of the filtration system and Jimmy Parker reported that attempts to get the contractor to finish it have not been successful. The withheld funds, along with the surety bond claim, should allow for it to be completed.