Chincoteague Fire Company Gets Pricey Bill for Utility Construct - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Chincoteague Fire Company Gets Pricey Bill for Utility Construction

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A sign located at the future site of the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company. (Photo: WBOC) A sign located at the future site of the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company. (Photo: WBOC)

CHINCOTEAGUE, Va. - Leaders with the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company are hoping to break ground on their new fire department sometime in the next two months.  But an estimate for some utility work for the new building has fire department officials worried it will break their budget.

The current fire station located along Main Street in Chincoteague has been serving the community since it was built in the 1930's.  But the building is past its prime and the volunteer firefighters are in need of a new facility with more room and upgraded technology.  The new building will also be in a different part of town, moving over to Deep Hole Road by the community center.

"With the majority of the businesses and everything on Maddox Boulevard, it will give us easy access to Maddox Boulevard, to the beach, to the causeway, things like that," said Denise Bowden, the public relations officer for the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company.

As the groundbreaking for the new fire station approaches, the fire department officials also recently found out about an estimate they were facing from Verizon.  Some utility lines need to be moved in order to serve the new facility and it will cost the fire company an estimate $73,000 for Verizon to do that work.

Bowden said the she and others at the fire company were not happy when they read the cost and believe there must be a cheaper option that won't break the bank.

"You know, it's one of those things that, can we pay for? Yes we can pay for it, but it would make such a hit on our budget that something else would have to wait," said Bowden.

However, officials with Verizon tell WBOC the cost is reasonable for the necessary work.  Michael Murphy is a Public Relations Manager with Verizon who sent a statement about the situation regarding the fire company.

"The Chincoteague Fire Department asked Verizon to relocate telephone network equipment from where they intend to build a new fire station.  "What’s been missing from the story about the cost to complete the work is this: we’re not talking about moving a phone line or two. This is about relocating some 1100 feet of 1200-pair copper cable along with fiber optic lines serving a large portion of Chincoteague Island.  To meet the FD’s specifications, we proposed burying those cables – an expensive process -- but there are other ways to accomplish this. We’ll consider any design changes they are willing to make to reduce costs or lessen the impact to the Island’s telecom equipment.”

Bowden said the fire company made an attempt to reach out to Verizon back in December but has yet to hear back.  She hopes the fire company and Verizon can work together on finding a solution that is more affordable for the fire company's budget.

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