Two new EMS substations planned
Plans are under way for two new emergency services substations in Aiken County.Aiken County plans to purchase several acres on Wire Road on which to build one of the new emergency services substation. On Tuesday, the County Council viewed a concept design for the other substation.EMS Substation 10, to be located on three acres at the corner of Wire Road and Highway 39, will serve the Monetta area. County Council approved the approximately $14,300 purchase price Tuesday. Roughly $400,000 has been allocated for the project, funds which will come from Capital Projects Sales Tax II."I am especially excited to have the one in the Monetta area where we haven't ever had a station. This will help with the response times," said County Councilwoman Kathy Rawls, who represents the area. "In Monetta, it's up to 30 to 40 minutes, and that's pretty bad."The concept design Council viewed Tuesday is set for a new Substation 7 in the Oakwood-Windsor area. It will become the cookie-cutter design and floor plan for all future substations, including the one on Wire Road, according to Assistant County Administrator Brian Sanders.The County is still looking at available land in the Oakwood-Windsor area to purchase for the substation, which will replace the EMS trailer currently located behind Oakwood-Windsor Elementary School."We're trying to locate it (the new substation) near the elementary school," Sanders said. "We're also looking in the Beech Island area, along 278. It's got to be a strategic, safe place."Both substations will be approximately 1,600 square feet, including an 800-square-foot ambulance bay. The remaining 800 square feet will be for living quarters and an office.Two facades have been proposed - one of all brick and one a mixture of brick and wood. Aiken County will bid both to see which draws the better price.Rawls prefers the all-brick facade because "it looks better, requires less maintenance, and is better structurally."Capital Projects Sales Tax II allocated funds for the construction of five EMS substations. Substation 9, located in College Acres, is complete. Substations 3 and 6 are planned for the Silver Bluff High School and J.D. Lever Elementary School areas, respectively."This is all thanks to the 1-cent sales tax. We are very fortunate to have it. Without it, these stations wouldn't get built," Rawls said.Haley Hughes is the Aiken County government reporter and has been with the Aiken Standard since February 2007. Hughes, a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, hails from Knoxville, Tenn.