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Athens to sell old fire station

By Holly Hollman 340-2445

ATHENS — Ever wanted to own a fire station?

There soon will be one for sale in Athens.

Fire Station No. 2 will be available once the Fire Department moves into the station under construction on Medical Village Drive off Lindsay Lane. Its completion date is Sept. 28.

Fire and city officials held a ceremonial groundbreaking at the 3-acre construction site Monday. Fire Chief Cliff Christopher said having this station east of Interstate 65 will improve response time to that side of the city.

"It also will be a benefit because if something happened to close the interstate intersection (at U.S. 72), we would have stations east and west of that intersection," he said.

Currently, all Athens fire stations are west of that intersection. Fire Station No. 2 is on Freeman Drive off U.S. 31.

The new station also will have an ambulance bay, which Athens-Limestone Ambulance Director Mike West said will help speed response time in a medical emergency. The ambulance service not only is west of the interstate, but is west of downtown Athens at Athens-Limestone Hospital on Market Street.

Mayor Dan Williams said the city will sell the Freeman Drive station once firefighters move to the new location.

Butler Construction is building the 11,000-square-foot facility for about $1.22 million. That cost doesn't include architect fees, landscaping or furnishings.

The City Council has estimated the overall cost will be $1.35 million.

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