Forest service eyes new facility at airport

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COUNTY OFFICIALS listen to a proposal Monday morning, Jan. 28, from the Texas A&M Forest Service (TFS) to build a new regional hub facility here. The metal barn-type structure would feature bays for storing equipment, as well as an enclosed end for offices to house the expanding TFS staff, organizers said. The county is expected to construct the facility near its airport and then offer a long-term lease to the TFS, which would benefit from that particular location most especially during air-based fire-fighting operations. —Standard-Radio Post photo

By Lisa Treiber-Walter

 

Although normally known for extinguishing fires, the Texas A&M Forest Service has sparked a wildfire of enthusiasm among Gillespie County Commissioners at the prospect of building a regional hub here.

“I think it’s certainly a project that comes around once in a lifetime and we need to figure out some way to implement it,” said Commissioner Donnie Schuch, following a presentation by local and state Texas A&M Forest Service (TFS) representatives at Monday morning’s regular county court meeting.

“The sooner the better,” responded Paul Hannemann, a Fredericksburg resident who serves as TFS’ statewide incident response department head.

Being proposed for construction at the county’s business park area adjacent to the Gillespie County Airport is a 100-foot by 120-foot metal building that stands 16-feet high and features four 30-foot bays for equipment maintenance. One of the bays would feature a concrete slab and be closed in to serve as office space.

“This has been under discussion for many years, said Garry Barney, TFS regional fire coordinator in Fredericksburg, as he presented a PowerPoint presentation to the commissions reiterating the Forest Service’s mission and its organizational structure.

Previously, the TFS office was based locally in the county’s Annex 2 building, 102 East San Antonio Street (in the former Fredericksburg Clinic building).

For more on this story, read this week’s print and online editions of the Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post. If you are a print subscriber, your full online subscription is free. All you need to do is call 830-997-2155 to get a password. If you are not a subscriber, call 997-2155 or click on the ‘Subscribe’ button on the left side of the home page and sign up today!

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