Newberry County Council action sent a request for a fire boat pump back to its finance committee.
The Chappells Fire Department requested $16,708 for a fire boat pump last week after having a pontoon boat donated to them.
The fire boat pump would be mounted to the pontoon to pump water from the lake onto fires.
Chappells Fire and Rescue Squad Chief Tony Johnson says with the closeness of houses on the lake it is impossible to get to the lake to pump water on houses.
In fact, three homes in Laurens County recently burned after one caught fire and the fire spread because firefighters could not get water to it.
Also both Lexington and Richland counties have boats that can pump water from the lake to properties on Lake Murray.
Councilman Bill Waldrop added there are problems and few dry hydrants on the lake.
Also the area does not have public water and the closes fire hydrant is in Silverstreet.
The boat would also be fixed with rescue equipment so it could respond to other emergencies on the lake.
And this is the first boat the lake shore department has ever had.
While most agree that the pump would be a big benefit to the lake and also be of assistance to both Greenwood and Laurens counties the question is the financing of the pump.
The big issue was why the department did not ask for the pump during the budget. Johnson said at that time he did not know he would have a boat donated to him.
Also there were questions as to if the boat and pump would pass S.C. Department of Natural Resource inspections and OSHA regulations.
Another issue would be the cost of insuring the boat and the liability.
Council also pondered why the community with so many lake residents has not had a boat before now. Currently the closest boat to Lake Greenwood is in Newberry which is 25 minutes away.
In the end the council referred the issue back to the county council finance committee which meets Sept. 24 at 6 p.m. at the courthouse annex on College Street.
At this time the group will return with answers to the council’s questions and the issue will gain more discussion.