BONHAM — The Bonham Fire Department and Union County took another step toward preparing for future industrial development with the passage of an ordinance facilitating the fire department’s acquisition of 15 acres of land for a possible new fire station.
Union County Council voted unanimously at its April meeting to approve third and final reading of the ordinance which facilitates the department’s acquisition of the 15-acre site between S.C. 18 and Oak Grove Road for $33,000. While the fire department will actually purchase the property, state law requires that the deeds for the transaction be in the county’s name.
The Bonham Fire Station is currently located on Fire Station Road off S.C. 18 behind the expanding Gestamp Automocion South Carolina LLC manufacturing facility and the under construction Gonvauto North America steel service center. Bonham Fire Chief Scott Austin told council in December that the presence of Gestamp and Gonvauto and any future expansion they might undergo, plus the possibility of new industry being recruited to the area increases the likelihood that the station’s current location will be needed for that. To accommodate such a development as quickly as possible, Austin said the district needed to acquire property for a new fire station.
If the Bonham Fire Department had to relocate, it would only be the latest institution in the community to have to relocate to accommodate industrial development. The county has already relocated the recycling center that serves the Bonham community and a communications tower to accommodate the construction of Gonvauto and the railroad spur that will link it to the nearby Norfolk & Southern Railroad line.
Gonvauto South Carolina, LLC will invest at least $35 million within the first five years in its steel service center and a total of $50 million within 10 years, ending up with 65 full-time jobs at the facility.
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.