Brunswick Considers Prison Labor for Fire Station Construction Could Start Earlier

Article excerpt

BRUNSWICK, Ga. -- The city might get a third fire station sooner

and cheaper than expected if the City Commission decides to use

free prison labor for construction.

The planned fire station on Fourth Street near Brunswick's

northern limit is one of many projects that will be financed by

a special 1 cent special-use sales tax. Fire Chief Lee Stewart

said yesterday that the city can build a better station and save

some of the $310,000 in construction cost if the Georgia

Department of Corrections' inmate construction crew does the

work.

In fact, Stewart said, it will be tough to build a fire station

and equip it with a truck with the budget of $560,000. The truck

alone will cost $250,000, he said.

"With contract labor that figure would be difficult to work

with," he said. Typically, half of a building's cost is labor,

Stewart said.

Under the city's current plan, work on the fire station would

not even begin this year. But construction could start as early

as next month if the commissioners decide to use the free labor,

City Manager Mark Mitchell said.

The commissioners discussed the matter yesterday during a

special meeting in which they pared down a list of applicants to

replace Mitchell, who is leaving this summer to attend law

school.

Stewart figures the prison labor would give the city more money

to spend on the station and would also allow substantial

savings. …