Fire Station 16 completes SPLOST IV investment into public safety

Photo of Fire Station 16 in Kelleytown
Fire Station 16 in Kelleytown (staff photo)

This morning, the Henry County Board of Commissioners held the ribbon cutting to open fire station 16 on Kelleytown Road. This is the third new fire station opened through the SPLOST IV program and completes a large package of public safety investments.

The three new fire stations are located in the Luella, Mt. Carmel, and Kelleytown communities. These communities were previously outside of five miles from a fire station and paid higher homeowner’s insurance as a result. The new stations save homeowners hundreds of dollars and boost response times throughout the county. Building the three new stations, purchasing three new engines and three new ambulances totaled $9,399,494 million in capital investment.

The SPLOST IV program also rebuilt fire station 2 in Locust Grove replacing an old small structure. The program purchased a new ambulance, located at fire station 12, and funded an ambulance remount located at fire station 13. This represents an additional $2,633,894 in investment.

SPLOST IV provided upgrades for the police department and county jail. Thirty new police cars and related equipment were purchased for $1,383,187. Jail renovations totaled $1,499,865 to provide security improvements, plumbing upgrades, and kitchen renovations.

Radio tower within Henry County (Staff photo)
SPLOST IV upgraded the E-911 radio system within Henry County (staff photo)

One of the flagship projects within SPLOST IV was replacing and upgrading the E-911 radio system countywide. The previous system was built in 1997 and the county’s growth had far exceeded its original coverage strength. The new system reduces dead zones and improves radio communications between dispatch and units in the field. Henry County funded $6.56 million towards the new system combined with $624,000 from the city of McDonough.

There is one public safety project that has not been completed. There are two million dollars set aside for a new police precinct in north Henry County. The board of commissioners is voting on October 2 to purchase land at Panola Road and Fairview Road for a future public safety complex.

In 2017, the Board of Commissioners voted to keep the funds in the project account. Building the north precinct is listed within the recent county facilities master plan prepared by the county manager’s office.

Henry County cities also contributed to public safety through SPLOST IV funding. Locust Grove constructed the new $4.8 million public safety building next to city hall. The project was funded with $3.5 million from SPLOST and $1.3 million from the city’s general fund. Hampton budgeted $80,000 within their SPLOST IV program for police vehicles.

Photo of McDonough Fire Engine 51 (Staff photo)
McDonough Fire Engine 51 purchased with SPLOST IV (staff photo)

McDonough purchased new fire engines for stations 51 and 52. The city also funded sixteen new police cars through the program. Including the $624,000 previously mentioned for the radio replacement, the city’s investment totals $2,424,000.

Completed projects total an investment of $21,476,440 representing 15% of the county’s SPLOST IV overall budget. The cities contributed an additional $6,004,000 towards public safety within our community.

These investments, and others like it, show Henry County’s commitment to public safety. Outside of SPLOST, the county has leased two new ladders, purchased five new ambulances and two new engines, and purchased body cameras for each police officer within the past year.

Additional investments are being planned within the SPLOST V program to support the county’s police officers, fire fighters, and deputy sheriffs. Deputy county manager Brad Johnson will present an overview of county facilities to the SPLOST V committee at a future meeting. Members of the public are encouraged to attend the committee meetings and provide their input. Dates are available on the SPLOST V page.

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