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Land has been secured and design work will soon begin for the new Grafton fire station that will replace the one on Route 17, slated for completion by 2017.
The York County Board of Supervisors closed on the $800,000 land purchase at the intersection of Dare Road and North Constitution Drive in April, where the new $4.6 million, 15,500-square-foot station will be built.
The current 55-year-old Grafton fire station — the first of six the county built since establishing the Department of Fire and Life Safety in 1954 — is overcrowded, has inadequate parking and storage space and will soon be affected by the widening of lanes on Route 17, which will cut the driveway area of the station.
The county’s Capital Improvements Program, a 10-year plan that outlines costly infrastructure projects, calls for funding on the new station to begin in fiscal year 2017 with $4.6 million and an additional $175,000 for new equipment.
Although only projects from the CIP listed in the current fiscal year are guaranteed to be funded, the fire station — which was first proposed in 2011 — is slated to be completed in fiscal year 2017. York County spokesperson Gail Whittaker said the timeline could vary based on adverse conditions such as weather.
Interim County Administrator Mark Carter said the county is not sure what it plans to do with the old station, but turning it into a commercial property is an option.
The Grafton fire station services the southeastern part of York County, and its firefighter/paramedics are the first responders for incidents in Grafton and Dare. They also provide back-up response to the areas covered by the stations in Tabb, Yorktown and Seaford.
Fire Chief Stephen Kopczynski also proposed a seventh fire station to be built in 2020 for the Bypass Road corridor in Upper York County, although county staff did not include it in the latest CIP.
Kopczynski said the recent and future commercial and residential growth in Upper York County — including the Marquis Shopping Center and future residential portion, Whittaker’s Mill , the Lowe’s and the Walmart — have contributed to the growing population and growing need for a new station.
“We’re continuing to monitor the activity level up there,” he said.
The upcoming fiscal year’s CIP also calls for $1.9 million to replace two rescue trucks and a pumper that have been in use since the early 1990s.