James Island getting new fire station, asking Charleston to shift city line

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - James Island City Council is discussing the shift of the Charleston and James Island city line at the corner of Prescott and Folly roads with the hope that they can build a new fire station but with less hassle.

Officials say a new station is past due since the Camp Road construction took some of the Camp Road fire station’s property, and this line shift would just help the process move faster.

Robert Wise with the James Island Public Service District says the station needs to go for several reasons, but the most important reason being that since the 2016-2017 widening of Camp Road, the firefighters can’t get out of their station.

Wise says the crews have complained several times that their response times are slow due to the extra traffic lanes.

“The issue was obvious. They were not able to respond like they wanted when they were trying to get out of their station,” Wise says. “They don’t even have any room to wash the trucks on the front part of the property anymore.”

Wise says the solution was to move the station to the corner of Prescott and Folly where there are three unused lots. There are currently two houses on that piece of property, but those will be torn down.

The Charleston and James Island city line goes through the middle of the new building site.

James Island Council is discussing steps to make the station’s relocation to the new property easier.

Wise says the plan is to extend the Town of James Island’s line by about 100 feet so that the entire property can be in the James Island Public Service District as compared to a piece of it belonging to the City of Charleston.

“Regulatory procedures, building zoning, and permits inspections would have to go through two different municipalities, twice the regulatory work, by adjusting the boundary you only have to go through one,” said James Island Mayor Bill Woosley.

If the first and second readings are passed by both James Island and Charleston councils, the corner of Folly and Prescott will be home to the top of the line James Island Fire headquarters.

“Individuals will have a great command post for disasters or hurricanes. The old building isn’t safe. This will be. We will have better communication devices,” Wise says.

Wise said they hope to break ground on the new station by Summer 2019 and finish the new James Island Fire headquarters by 2020.

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