A community meeting will take place this Thursday, Aug. 17th at 7:00pm to gather feedback on the possibility of the Antioch Fire Department relocating.
Fire Chief Kendall Hocutt said the volunteer fire department wants to hear from Antioch residents on a proposal to move about two miles from their current station, on Highway 39 North at Antioch Church Road, to Highway 42 at Country Road.
“We’ve been discussing building a new fire station for the last 4 or 5 years and preparing for it financially,” Chief Hocutt told WTSB News. “We’ve been search for land for the last two years. We have an option on land on NC 42 at Country Road.”
The Antioch Fire Department was formed in 1961 and has been in the same location ever since. The 35 member all-volunteer department has 6 trucks to provide fire protection in the O’Neals Fire District.
Hocutt said the department needs a new and larger station to better serve the community.
“It would be simple to go across the road and build a new fire station but it is not the best place to better serve the whole community,” Chief Hocutt said, explaining the new location would more centrally located in the district and would move residents near the Nash and Wilson County lines within the 5 mile fire protection classification. Currently homes in those areas are 6 miles away and pay more for insurance. Hocutt said all areas would be within the 5 mile district if the station is relocated to Highway 42 at Country Road and it would lower fire insurance premiums for those homeowners currently outside the 5 mile district.
The department has an option on a 3 to 5 acre tract of land from Barbara Lancaster of Smithfield. Hocutt said any move would be at least 2 years away.
Hocutt said fireman understand there is a lot of history with the current fire station on Highway 39. If a new station were to be built, the department could still use the existing fire house as a second station.
Antioch residents are asked to attend the community meeting at the fire station at 8604 Highway 39 this Thursday at 7pm.