Company to deed building to county

Nov. 13, 2013 @ 06:01 AM

A company plans to help a Rutherford County community with fire protection.

On Thursday, Horsehead Metal Products — the local subsidiary of Horsehead Corporation — will deed the former parsonage of the Hicks Grove Baptist Church to Rutherford County allowing for the Cliffside Volunteer Fire Department to use it as a satellite facility.

Horsehead is in the process of completing construction of a new $410 million zinc recycling facility near the Hicks Grove community and Rutherford County Economic Development Commission (EDC) Director Matt Blackwell said the deeding of the home is in response to residents’ concerns.

“During the process of this facility being built, the Hicks Grove community and surrounding residents expressed concerns over fire protection and the impact to homeowner insurance,” Blackwell said. “Horsehead heard that concern and this is their response to it.”

Through the course of construction, Horsehead has held community meetings with residents of Hicks Grove and one of the issues discussed was the need for a fire facility in the area because residents in the community live in an unrated fire zone, thus seeing increased homeowner insurance rates.

“When they temporarily closed Hicks Grove Road, it created a whole issue with fire protection because you couldn’t cross into South Carolina to get back to North Carolina,” Blackwell said.

The newly constructed Hicks Grove Road was opened on June 28.

Rutherford County Fire Marshall Roger Hollifield said the use of the parsonage as a fire station will help provide services for Hicks Grove as well as those residents in a radius of 5-6 miles of the new station.

He said it will be the third station in the Cliffside district.

“This will provide a quicker response and the hope is we have some people in the community that will step up and get the training and be a part of that department,” Hollifield said.

Hollifield said he has submitted a new fire protection map to the North Carolina State Fire Marshall’s office for approval.

“Once the State Fire Marshall’s office approves the map, we will look to get approval to get those people into an insurance district which will allow them to save money on their insurance because they will be in a rated area,” Hollifield said.

Blackwell said Horsehead hopes to have its new facility online by the first quarter of 2014.

“This is a significant event because one of the really big issues brought up was fire protection,” Blackwell said. “They are investing $410 million and creating jobs but this is in addition to that and they are making an investment into the community.”

Horsehead will present the deed to the parsonage during an event at 11 a.m. Thursday.