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County turns over building to VFD

By Meg Dickens
Staff Writer

As most people locally know, the local fire departments are ran mostly by volunteers, and these volunteers stay busy fighting a variety of fires throughout their districts. One of the most populated districts is reportedly Second District. Recently, Johnson County decided to transfer ownership of the facility on Cold Springs Road to the Second District Volunteer Fire Department’s (VFD) to help the department move forward with plans.

Taylor previously approached the County Commission to request a 99-year lease to help obtain a loan from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to fix problems with the Cold Springs facility but changed the request to, instead, transfer the deed because of difficulties based on a technicality. Reportedly, Second District was having trouble gaining assistance because it did not own the building. The specific loan mentioned by those involved can extend up to 40 years. All signs point to the Rural Development Loan, but that is unconfirmed at this time.

“There are some problems with their building,” Taylor explained. “They need to do some repairs, and I think (Captain Chris Pierce) has indicated to me that it is beyond repair. They’re going to move forward by taking that building down and getting a USDA low-interest, long-term loan to replace the whole building. They’re going to replace the whole building and put up a metal structure that will serve them for a long, long time.”

As Taylor explained, the problems with the building are extensive. Officials believe that the building needs to be demolished and completely rebuilt. County Lawyer Perry Stout checked for legality and found Tennessee Code 12-9-110. This law states that public agencies, such as the government, can legally transfer property to another public entity as long as it qualifies under the proper guidelines. The building will belong to the department for as long as it stays a fire department.

According to Second District Captain Chris Pierce, he and Cold Springs Water Treatment Operations Specialist Apprentice Chris Brown are heading the project. At this time, Captain Pierce, Chief James Brown, and Chris Brown were unavailable to discuss the project. Keep an eye out for more details in upcoming editions of The Tomahawk.