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Hall County approves use of eminent domain to get land for South Hall fire station

Update, March 12: The Hall County Board of Commissioners on Thursday, March 12, unanimously approved the use of eminent domain to acquire property for Fire Station 17 in South Hall. No one spoke in opposition at the public hearing.

The county offered $800,000 in compensation for the property based on an appraisal, County Attorney Van Stephens said, but negotiations on the purchase price will continue.

Previous story: The Hall County Board of Commissioners will vote Thursday on whether to use the power of eminent domain to acquire land for a fire station in South Hall.

Fire Station 17 has been proposed for the property at 5711 and 5719 Holiday Road in Buford. The 3.5-acre property previously housed a restaurant and service station, and it is owned by AOK Properties 1 LLC, based in Doraville.

The county is planning $800,000 in compensation for the property. The value listed in tax records for the two parcels is $332,500.

Assistant County Administrator Marty Nix told The Times in February that it will likely be about two years until the station can open.

When locating new fire stations, county officials take into account the distance the station would be from the businesses and homes it would serve. The goal is to get as many properties as possible within a five-mile radius of the station in order to keep the county’s Insurance Services Office rating high.

Hall’s current ISO rating, which affects homeowners’ insurance premiums, is a 2 on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the best.

Lake Lanier Islands resort is not currently within five miles of a fire station, but putting Fire Station 17 on Holiday Road would change that.

Commissioners will hold a public hearing and vote on whether to exercise eminent domain at their meeting at 6:05 p.m. Thursday at the Hall County Government Center, 2875 Browns Bridge Road in Gainesville. While commissioners’ meetings usually begin at 6 p.m., the eminent domain hearing must by law be held after 6 p.m.