City council holding public hearing on firehouse remodeling

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COLUMBIA- City council members will hold a public hearing Monday night to hear any support or objection on the move to remodel three fire stations and the fire training academy. 

The capital improvement sales tax passed by local voters in 2015 will fund the add-ons and the repairs. 

The repairs include new roofs on the three fire stations, remodeled bathrooms, and water softener systems.

The fire training academy will have a remodeled classroom space as well as a 60 foot by 80 foot two-bay building for trucks and other things. 

City councilmember Ian Thomas supports the project after receiving proposals from the Columbia Fire Department. 

"To the extent that we oversee all these projects, I think everybody on the council was satisfied that these were good, important projects. We don't micromanage the staff in that way so we approve those projects to go on that ballot list," said Thomas. 

The city council is going to move forward with the project, but wanted to get public discussion on it. When I spoke with Thomas he said there is no opposition to the renovations so far. 

"We get emails or calls from constituents and their intention to come speak against it or there is something in the newspaper. I haven't heard any problems with this project. My expectation is there will be no opposition tomorrow and it will be passed," said Thomas. 

The stations being remodeled are on Oakland Gravel Road, Ballenger Lane, and Chapel Hill Road. 

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