Thursday, March 15, 2007
Departments seek new fire ratings
By SUE WATSON
Cayce is likely to be the first rural fire department to get approved as a graded fire district, according to Harry Willis, assistant chief and president of the board of directors.
The five-mile road radius for the graded district has been drawn and the paperwork and testing have been done to bring all of Cayce within a five road mile radius of the station to a grade 9 and hopefully to a grade 8, he said. That will mean that homes and businesses will get better insurance rates if Cayce meets all the required measures. Insurance rates are improved as the grades are lowered below 10.
Marshall County Emergency Management Director Hugh Hollowell said the county has set a goal to get all the rural fire departments graded but started with Cayce. Barton will be next to try to get a new fire rating. All rural departments in the county are graded at 10, the lowest rating on the scale at present.
Cayce will consist of a graded district and a legal district as well with all structures within the five mile radius graded as a nine or eight and areas outside the five mile radius remaining as a 10 in the rest of the legal district boundaries, Willis said.
Board attorney Tacey Clark Locke thanked Willis for all the work he did to get the project to the finishing line.
“He helped me and his help is very much appreciated,” she said.
Emergency medical responders and fire departments will get medical supplies and equipment from a state Emergency Medical Service Grant. The board of supervisors approved applying for the grant this week.
The county is also seeking a Homeland Security Grant that will be used to purchase a satellite phone link to the state system. The phone can be used as a radio, a telephone and is mobile so it can be used in any disaster situation where land line services and towers are disrupted by catastrophic events, he said.
In other business the board of supervisors:
Pope said Audubon has paid nearly $30,000 in taxes on the 720 acres since 1998. A title search has shown no living heirs to the Laura White family who had one-fifth undivided interest in the acreage in 1911.
Tax Assessor Ronnie Johnson said the attorney general’s office had said the matter of tax exempt status on the four-fifths interest Audubon holds would be up to the state tax commission. Rural Dickerson with the tax commission had advised him that the matter of tax exemption on that four-fifths undivided interest was left to the discretion of the board of supervisors.
Supervisors requested the board attorney get something in writing from the AG and tax commission offices.
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