GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - The City of Gautier dedicated its new West Fire Station on Friday. It's a long awaited project that should improve response times and lower fire insurance costs.
"This is an absolutely beautiful building," said Mayor Gordon Gollott. "It was sorely needed in this city. It's been going on a long time, construction has been quite awhile on it. But we've done it right, as you can see here."
The new $800,000 fire station will provide much-needed emergency coverage for the western side of this growing city. That means quicker response times to fires and other emergencies.
"By the city strategically placing new fire stations within the area, it reduces that time frame that it takes us to get there and actually help people out," said Reggie Bell, Director of the Mississippi State Fire Academy.
The nearly 5,000 square foot facility on Brown Road should mean future savings on fire insurance premiums for area residents.
"Having this station out here allows us to maintain and enjoy a fire rating of six, which is about 25 to 35 percent of a reduction in their fire insurance premiums as with other unincorporated areas of the county," said Fire Chief Robert Jones.
"And if it goes down to a class five, which it will do with the new engines here when we do the new ratings with the state rating bureau, it will reduce rates another ten percent. So that's good news for the citizens of the City of Gautier," said Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney, who gave the keynote speech at Friday's ribbon cutting ceremony.
Citizens like Charles Cooper hope to benefit from those lower insurance costs. His family has lived on Brown Road for 40 plus years.
"When we first moved here, Brown Road was a dirt road leading down to the end here. And today there's over 40 homes in here, plus several businesses and now the Gautier fire station," said Cooper, a longtime owner of WOSM Radio.
It's a fire station these community leaders are happy to finally dedicate.