City to lease extra space for Fire Station No. 3

Morehead City fire crews stationed at Fire Station No. 3, pictured here, will soon have more living and bunk space thanks to a lease agreement allowing the department to use an additional building on the property, which is owned by the Wildwood Community Organization.  (News-Times photo)

MOREHEAD CITY — The city signed a lease with the Wildwood Community Organization for use of one the group’s buildings as extra space for equipment and crews at Fire Station No. 3 until Morehead City can find a new, permanent home for the station.

The city council approved the substation lease agreement as part of the consent agenda for its Nov. 10 regular meeting, held at the municipal building and online via Zoom. Morehead City Fire Chief Jamie Fulk appeared at previous council meetings to talk about the lease, but there was no discussion on the matter last week. 

The lease allows the Morehead City Fire Department use of a rear building on Wildwood’s property for bay space and crew bunks, as well as a living room, kitchen, laundry and bathrooms. The department already occupies the main building toward the front of the property, but Chief Fulk said the additional building will give crews stationed there more space than is currently available.

“This is going to give us 5,000 more square feet to work out of, about 3,500 (square feet) of that is bay space,” he told the News-Times last week. “But right now, we’ve got five people in a 900-square-foot space, so it will allow us to have some separation, crews won’t be on top of each other, and it gives us some additional cover space to park our trucks.”

The lease lasts one year, beginning Tuesday, Dec. 1 and ending Nov. 30, 2021, and is renewable on a month-by-month basis beyond the end date. Monthly rent is $1,300, for an annual cost of $15,600.

The MCFD previously occupied the building in question as a substation until the department moved into the main building, which is now county-owned, upon its merger with the Wildwood Volunteer Fire Department in 2014. The city had planned to eventually find a location to construct a new Fire Station No. 3 to serve the western end of town, plans that were accelerated after Hurricane Florence dealt severe damage to the station in 2018.   

“We’re going to be conducting a study to determine the future of station 3, where it may be located and what the needs are in that area,” Chief Fulk said. “Once that’s done, we’ll know a little more.”

Also during the Nov. 10 meeting, the council held a public hearing on a Unified Development Ordinance amendment allowing recreational vehicles to be located within manufactured home parks. The request was submitted by Councilman George Ballou, who recused himself from the public hearing and vote to avoid a conflict of interest.

One person, John Suralik, spoke in favor of the amendment, and nobody spoke against it, and the council voted 4-0, with Mr. Ballou recused, to adopt the amendment.

The council also adopted the consent agenda, which included the following items:

  • Minutes of the Oct. 6 council workshop meeting.
  • The finance director’s report and tax collector’s report.
  • A notice of tax overpayments in the amount of $825.98 for the month of October.
  • Requests for refunds of overpayment of ad valorem taxes in the amount of $543.33 for October.
  • Budget amendment ordinances 2020-21 and 2020-22.
  • An award of a bid for Old Causeway Road water and sewer extensions to KBS Construction Co. LLC in the amount of $28,050.
  • An award of a Community Development Block Grant-Neighborhood Revitalization legal services contract to Taylor & Taylor and CDBG-NR survey services contract to Timmons Group.
  • Resolution 2020-R-51.


Contact Elise Clouser at; by phone at 252-726-7081 ext. 229; or follow on Twitter @eliseccnt.

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