WHITMIRE — Councilman Michael Thomas spoke on behalf of the Whitmire Fire Department to make a motion to purchase a new Service Truck for the fire department.
The current truck being used is an old delivery van, and the fire department now needs to buy a truck that has space for more equipment firefighters can use while at the scene of a fire.
Thomas said the main function the new truck would need would be a cascade system, which allows firemen to refill their breathing apparatuses on scenes. There is not enough room on the current van to provide a cascade system.
The fire department is looking into purchasing a 1989 Hahn walk-in rescue truck with heating and air conditioning, which would allow firemen to rest and check their vitals on scene. Other functions would include a 20 KW on-board generator, Custom Cascade system, front bumper winch, hand lights, portable lights, storage for ladders, availability to hold more tools and an incident command center.
Thomas and firefighter Randy Biddle will be flying to Pennsylvania on Oct. 15 to determine the condition of the truck. The original asking price was $20,000, but Thomas got the price down to $15,000. Thomas said he hopes that after going to look at the truck, the price can be lowered more.
If the truck is purchased, the Whitmire Fire Department will pay to have the truck brought back, with equipment such as exhaust fans, lights, radios and numerous hand tools remaining with the truck.
“We do not use our old van often because it causes us so much trouble,” he said. “It’s left us on the side of the road numerous times.”
Councilwoman Cassie Fowler asked Thomas how often the fire department used the $100,000 ambulance that the county purchased.
“We ride it around a good bit, but it’s not capable of holding a cascade system or a rehab center for firemen that need to warm up or cool off on the scene,” he said.
Mayor Billy Hollingsworth made a motion to buy the new truck if it is in acceptable condition. Thomas and Councilmen Clay Bodie abstained from voting. The motion passed.
In other business:
• September’s financial budget reported a beginning balance of $9,937.22. By the end of the month, the budget had a remaining balance of $2,649.70.
• Council took a tour last month of the old Whitmire High School building to determine how the building could be used and how to proceed with plans.
“We need to come to some conclusion on what to do with the school. The auditorium is at least worth saving,” Hollingsworth said.
Scott Cain told Hollingsworth that County Economic Developer Rick Farmer wanted to tour the school.
• Beth Broom reported for Whitmire Recreation that the new football field at the recreation complex is coming along. There are currently two tackle teams and 18 cheerleaders.
• Kim Wallace with the Economic Development Board reported they have been approved for a Literacy Grant to have Benilde Little, a nationally recognized best-selling author, do a book signing on Nov. 11 and Nov. 12. The total budget was $3,800. Through the SC Humanities Department, $1,900 was received. Their half would be $900 just to cover the cost of the book and to hold the event.
• The Whitmire Police Department filed 81 incidents for September 2016 and issued 119 citations for the month. The Department’s calls included Motor Vehicle Theft, Larceny, Breach of Trust, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Controlled Substances, DUI and Liquor law violations. The Department has also investigated three wrecks.
• Term limits were brought up to Council. Hollingsworth said he has been in contact with the Municipal Association and the Attorney General recommends Council not get involved with setting term limits.
• Council discussed reducing the number of sitting members. The number has to be an odd number. If the number is reduced, it would be a four year process of either having an ordinance or petition.
From there, members would be put on the ballot to be voted on by Whitmire voters. It would be on the ballot in two years and then take effect in the next two years. Council currently has seven members and council is discussing reducing it to five.
Reach Kelly Duncan at 803-768-3123 ext. 1868, or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.