CLAYTON – The Clayton Fire Department has a need for several new staff members and, as a result of Covid-19 guidelines, more space in which to house them.
The Clayton Town Council voted Monday night to allocate $225,000 for the purchase, architectural engineering and minor renovation of an adjacent property to help the Fire Department keep pace with growing space needs at Station 1. The residential property is located at 317 W. Horne Street.
Chief Lee Barbee said that the availability of the property is good timing. Since the beginning of the pandemic in March, the Fire Department has had to modify their space to align with new COVID-19 mitigation standards. This means that much needed training and administrative space has been turned into sleeping quarters so that fire fighters and staff can remain socially-distanced.
Currently, eight fire fighters live at Station 1 during a 24-hour shift. And, with the addition of a new ladder truck, the department hopes to add two more fire fighters per shift.
“We’ve outgrown our space as far as sleeping arrangements, and with a ladder truck company, we’ve got to accommodate even more people,” Chief Barbee said. “This is an opportunity for us to acquire this property to use as a facility for our administrative staff and to open up space for fire fighters.”
“If it were not for COVID, we wouldn’t be looking to spend this money,” Town Manager J.D. Solomon said. “COVID has changed things for this department.”