Just as larger cities in the panhandle continue to grow, so the small towns. There's "new hope" in a community in Holmes County that goes by that name.
Over 100 years ago a man named J.W. Howell donated the land for the New Hope community's fire department and community center.
In 1985, his daughter Ruth Howell Williams donated the additional land needed to complete the project, but it would still be years before a fire station in New Hope would be a reality.
Tuesday's ribbon cutting marked that day.
Earl Stafford, County Commissioner, said, "It started through community involvement, people wanting something up here, fire station, you know. We started with the hope of what we've got right now."
It also took several grants from community organizations, Holmes County, and USDA rural development.
John Wesley Howell, a New Hope resident, said, "Part of growth of this little community, this little community will grow now."
There are about 1,500 people that live in New Hope. The fire station will also sub as a hurricane shelter for people west of the Chattahoochee River.
Wanda Stafford, Holmes County EMS Director, said, "This is our first risk shelter on this side of the river, and we plan to get more. We are just really proud the community has come together and helped out with it."
While it took so long, every one including Ruth Howell Williams knows that the services the fire station provides to New Hope will be worth the wait
Ruth said, "I'm just so happy that it's here, and the EMS is here, and it's great for the community."
The entire project took less $350,000 to complete.