Whitfield County Breaks Ground On Cohutta Fire Station 11

Wednesday, October 25, 2017 - by Mitch Talley
Leaders from Whitfield County and Cohutta break ground  Monday for a new fire station in Cohutta on Cohutta/Varnell Road. Station 11 is expected to be ready by the middle of next year, in the process helping to reduce homeowner’s insurance premiums in Cohutta because of the lower ISO rating that will result.
Leaders from Whitfield County and Cohutta break ground Monday for a new fire station in Cohutta on Cohutta/Varnell Road. Station 11 is expected to be ready by the middle of next year, in the process helping to reduce homeowner’s insurance premiums in Cohutta because of the lower ISO rating that will result.
- photo by Mitch Talley

Whitfield County Fire Station 11 should be up and running in Cohutta by mid-2018, according to Fire Chief Ed O’Brien.

A group of Whitfield County and Town of Cohutta leaders gathered Monday afternoon for a groundbreaking ceremony for the new station, which is being constructed at 

google.com/?q=5268+Cohutta/Varnell+Road&entry=gmail&source=g" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?hl=en&q=https://maps.google.com/?q%3D5268%2BCohutta/Varnell%2BRoad%26entry%3Dgmail%26source%3Dg&source=gmail&ust=1509048467118000&usg=AFQjCNFLsa7GgrngVH_bYTdiFox_fc9TKw" style="color: rgb(17, 85, 204);">5268 Cohutta/Varnell Road with Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) funds.

“We are so excited about this fire station,” Commission Chairman Lynn Laughter told the large group that gathered for the ceremony, “and I appreciate Chief O’Brien and his staff that had so much input into it. Thank you to the citizens for voting in the SPLOST because that’s how we were able to afford to do this.”

The 7,800-square-foot facility, budgeted at about $1.5 million, will feature three bays for trucks, along with living quarters for up to six firefighters, bathrooms, offices, and a room for turnout gear. Once in operation, the station, like the other 10 in the county, will have two firefighters on duty 24 hours a day. Cohutta’s volunteer fire department will also continue to help answer calls.

Cohutta Mayor Ron Shinnick expressed his appreciation to the county for its help in making the fire station a reality.

“To get these kinds of things done in small municipalities, it really takes a partnership and understanding each other’s needs and how we can work together to make things like this happen,” Shinnick said, “because the bottom line for me is that we want to help our citizens and provide the best service possible to them. This is really answering the need for all our citizens in this end of the county.

“I think this is remarkable,” the mayor continued, “that with this project at about $1½ million and the sewer project which is just up the road and is going to be coming right in front of the new fire station, we’re looking at a total of about a $2.1 or $2.2 million investment in the infrastructure of the Town of Cohutta.”

That investment is expected to pay off nicely for local property owners. Currently, Cohutta has an ISO fire rating of 9 or 10 for property owners, but O’Brien says that rating should plummet to a 3 next year, resulting in much lower homeowner’s insurance premiums for Cohutta.

“We’re glad the Board of Commissioners gave us the opportunity to do the SPLOST,” O’Brien said. “That’s where this money is coming from – not our individual property taxpayers, it’s from anyone who comes into Whitfield County and spends money at our local businesses. That gives us the tax revenue to build this station. It’s actually a win-win for the community.”

The chief expressed thanks to Cohutta for donating the 2-acre site for the station, helping to lower the cost of construction.

Also on hand for the cereremony were commissioners Harold Brooker, Roger Crossen, Greg Jones, and Barry Robbins, Cohutta council members Sandy Claybourne, Greg Fowler, and Shelia Rose, and Dalton-based architect Ken Harless and contractor Allan Felker.

“This is great – we get a chance to design a station in our own hometown,” Harless said. “We’ve designed a lot of fire stations, and no two of them are alike. We’ve worked with Chief O’Brien and his staff, and I’ll tell you that every time we sat down, it was budget, budget, budget and low-maintenance, low-maintenance, low-maintenance. So we took what I think is a great, great design working with these guys. It’s going to be extremely functional, going to look real nice. It’s not a Taj Mahal – the money’s gone into function.”

Whitfield County Fire Chief Ed O’Brien (from left), Cohutta Mayor Ron Shinnick, and County Commissioner Greg Jones look over plans for Fire Station 11, which is being paid for with $1.5 million of SPLOST funds.
Whitfield County Fire Chief Ed O’Brien (from left), Cohutta Mayor Ron Shinnick, and County Commissioner Greg Jones look over plans for Fire Station 11, which is being paid for with $1.5 million of SPLOST funds.


Chattanooga Funeral Home To Hold Candlelight Remembrance Services Dec. 2

Chattanooga Funeral Home will hold candlelight remembrance services on Saturday, Dec. 2.  A remembrance tree will be illuminated at 5 p.m. The Hamiton Memorial Gardens' service will be held at Chattanooga Funeral Home, North Chapel in Hixson.  Dr. David McNabb, executive director of Teen Challenge MidSouth will lead the service. The Chattanooga Memorial Park ... (click for more)

Chattanooga ModelCon 2018 Will Be Jan. 5-6

The Chattanooga Scale Modelers Association will host their seventh annual scale model convention on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 5-6, at the Chattanooga Trade and Convention Center.  It will be open from 2-6 p.m. on Jan. 5 for entries and then Jan. 6 from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. with awards at 4 p.m.  Visitors can expect to see museum quality scale models grouped in categories ... (click for more)

Hixson Burglary Suspect Tries To Swim Away; Deputies Catch Him In Borrowed Boat

A Hixson burglary suspect on Wednesday tried to swim away from deputies, but to no avail.   The proprietor of Chattanooga Fish and Fun was notified when his camera system was triggered by an individual attempting to break into his business. The owner immediately contacted the Sheriff's Office and drove to the business location.   As deputies arrived on scene, ... (click for more)

5 Disinherited Adopted Children Of Dr. J. Don Brock May Share In Rich Estate After All

Five disinherited adopted children of the late Chattanooga businessman J. Don Brock may share in his large estate after all. After losing at the trial court and appeals court level, the plaintiffs won a victory at the Tennessee Supreme Court. Justice Cornelia Clark ruled in favor of the adopted children and remanded the case to the trial court for settlement of the estate. ... (click for more)

Stormwater Fiasco And East Ridge Camping

When did the Chattanooga City Council get replaced by members of the East Ridge City Council? I don't recall a time in Chattanooga where they've voted to shoot the city in the foot more than they have lately.  If this goes through despite the environmental impact warnings and then Camp Jordan has increased flooding after spending millions on sports ball fields, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Chicken Gun

On the very day when more poultry is consumed in the United States than at any other time in the year, fun-loving Wendell Burns shared a wonderful story about “The Chicken Gun.” What makes the tale even better is that it was designed and built to perfection by the folks at the Arnold Air Force Base that you know is near Tullahoma, Tn. Wendell’s mistake in sending the story is ... (click for more)