FARMVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — A proposal for a new fire department headquarters in Farmville was presented to the Pitt County Commissioners on Monday.

The new headquarters would provide more space for the department to grow while also meeting future challenges. It would also replace a building where the department has been housed that’s nearly 100 years old.

Farmville Town Manager David Hodgkins said the need is there for the department, which serves the town and other surrounding areas.

“It’s not something we choose to have, it’s absolutely vital,” Hodgkins said.

The proposed new station would be located near two major thoroughfares in the town and would also provide much-needed space.

“Being able to expand it, we currently are … if we have another truck right now, we’re gonna be hard-pressed to get on to fit into the limitations of our station height-wise and length-wise,” Farmville Rural Fire Association Chief Tommy Brady said.

Town officials in Farmville said the call volume has increased and will continue to grow as the town does. The new facility will help get ahead of the demand.

“It’s critical that we are able to accommodate the current population and also future population and also future development types that are coming in,” Hodgkins said. “We see it as not just a public safety issue but also an economic development issue for Pitt County.”

The project is estimated to cost around $8 million. The source of funding would come from several outlets.

“We’re looking at county funding, state funding, town funding, grants, loans, any source that we can tap into,” Hodgkins said.

State Sen. Kandie Smith is also behind the project. She issued a statement to WNCT that read, “When I was contacted by the town manager for the City of Farmville expressing the need for a new location to service the Farmville Fire Department, it was clear to me that this project would not only benefit the people of Farmville, but the surrounding communities where the fire department operates as well, so I was happy to file SB 98 in the NC Senate.”

Officials said the project is shovel-ready. As soon as funding is secured, construction could begin as early as September.