Smithfield to get new fire, rescue quarters

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 6, 2007

SMITHFIELD—A new fire and rescue building for the Town of Smithfield will soon become a reality.

Smithfield Town Manager Peter Stephenson told members of the intergovernmental committee meeting last week that the site for the building has been purchased and work on the design should begin within a few weeks.

According to an agreement between the town and Isle of Wight County, Stephenson said the town had offered to purchase the property for the building and contribute up to $100,000 toward its design.

The property would then be deeded to the county, which would pay for building the structure.

The 2.5-acre site, formerly Angelo’s Restaurant on South Church Street, was purchased for $925,000, the manager said.

He added that the funds for the design had already been budgeted.

The design for the new structure will include facilities for both the fire department and the rescue squad. The current squad building, which sits directly behind the site on which the new building will be constructed, will be used for storage.

A proposal for building in another area of the town was also brought before the committee.

Pinewood Heights, a housing development for minorities built during the mid-50s and located behind the Smithfield meat packing plants has been steadily deteriorating and town officials have been seeking ways to relocate its residents.

Architect Greg Frech of Virginia Beach presented a design of about a dozen affordable houses, which he said could solve part of the problem.

A possible relocation point for these homes could be the Riverview community property, the site of the former high school and owned by the county.

According to Don Robertson, County Communications Director, the town and the county have an understanding whereby the county could give consideration to releasing the Riverview property for this project.

It was suggested that a public neighborhood meeting be held to further consider this move, although no action was taken.