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Houston Co. gets new fire station from Perdue Farms | News

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Houston Co. gets new fire station from Perdue Farms

Perdue Farms is donating almost five acres to Houston County to use for a new fire station.

This is the first expansion of the department in 30 years. The new location is along the Highway 247 near the Perdue chicken plant in Perry.

Wally Hunter, the director of operations at Perdue, says they had been talking with the county for several years about ways they could help out the community. He says when the Perdue plant had a fire last year, that motivated communication about the fire station.

Jimmy Williams, the Houston County fire chief, says the two closest stations fall outside the five-mile radius recommended by insurance companies.

"It will also benefit a lot of the community," he added.

Williams says that for anyone living within five miles of this new location, their insurance rates could drop by nearly half.

"It would be great to have a fire station right down the road," says Leland Collins, who has lived for 20 years in Lea Glen.

That is the one neighborhood, Williams says, that falls in that gap between fire stations.

"We're about 300 yards out of the five mile radius for the insurance rate," he laughs.

The personnel will consist of both staff and volunteers. Williams says that unlike other county stations, this one will have someone on staff 24 hours.

"I think that's the very best part," says Collins' wife, Louise.

More than the insurance rates, they say that this will give them more peace of mind, knowing help could reach them faster.

"This is a growing county," says Collins. "The more we can take care of the people in the county, the better off we are."

And they call that priceless. The county hopes to start breaking ground by the end of the year. As part of the deal, the fire department has a new building and two new firetrucks from the 2012 SPLOST.

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