HURLEY, MS (WLOX) - Some people in Hurley said a fire department construction project has turned into more of an eyesore and it's sitting in the heart of the community. Patrice Clark spoke with fire department officials to find out the reason for the mess.
Several folks who live and work in Hurley say their neat town has been interrupted by piles of debris that have been sitting in heart of the community for at least two months now.
“It looks kind of crazy,” another resident said.
“It's ugly and messy,” a resident said.
The eyesore they're talking about is the more than 70-year-old East Central Fire station.
“The other day, I had nearly 10 voicemails on my phone from people voicing their concerns about the station looking like a mess,” Fire Chief Kaleb Kirkwood said.
Northeast Fire Department of Jackson County is responsible for the site. The chief and his team said although it might look bad, it's really a work in progress.
“We are starting new construction for the new station, which will be here in several months,” Chief Kirkwood said.
The department was actually trying to bring down construction costs for the new build when the mess was created.
“The volunteers decided they were going in and try to salvage the steel in the building, and take it to scrap and put money back in our pockets to help toward the new station. We are trying to help save taxpayers' money. Obviously there is a mess here, but it is hard to get volunteers here Monday through Friday to work on this project,” Kirkwood said.
This is just one of many construction hurdles the department has faced lately.
“Some of the stuff was going through the different contractors, going through the bid process,” Kirkwood said.
The department wants residents to know a demolition crew is expected to remove the building and all the debris next week.
“We apologize for the mess,” Kirkwood said.
“It will be cleaned up soon and it will all be a distant memory,” Fire Department Board President Stephen Coleman said.
Some neighbors said now they know the reason behind the unsightly spot, they will practice a little more patience.
The department saved more than $10,000 by using volunteers to help partially tear down the building. The new fire station should be up and open by early next year.