West Florence makes moves to form governing body over new fire d - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

West Florence makes moves to form governing body over new fire district

In September, a group of five people from the West Florence area will decide how fire millage is used, a task that used to be left up to the county. | Source: WMBF News In September, a group of five people from the West Florence area will decide how fire millage is used, a task that used to be left up to the county. | Source: WMBF News

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - A special election will be held in West Florence in September.

The election will decide who the governing body is over the newly created West Florence Fire District.

The people elected in the upcoming election, will play a crucial role in deciding how fire service is provided and sustained within the 38 miles that makes the West Florence Fire District.

"The function has not changed at all. Our main goal is to go out and provide the highest level of service possible to the residents of West Florence," West Florence Battalion Chief Anthony Fox said.

It's been nearly two months since West Florence has become its own fire district, and day-to-day operations haven't changed.

In September, a group of five people from the West Florence area will decide how fire millage is used, a task that used to be left up to the county.

"There are nine people who have registered to have their name put on the ballot. And those nine people are people who reside in the Fire District," Fox said.

A a special election will take place and the people of West Florence will pick five members to keep an eye on the new district and its funding.

West Florence Fire Chief Larue Hendrix said the current budget, which is a nearly $900,000 per year, the department is holding fine, and is debt-free.

"We've been operating off eight mills for the past ten years. And the population out here is growing a little bit so we're going to have to raise the mills a little bit," West Florence Fire Chief Larue Hendrix said.

Ten days after the September 2nd election, the elected commissioners will decide how the district will be funded.

"What we are trying to do is stay above eight [mills] or don't go no higher than 13 [mills]," Hendrix said.

"The board of commissioners is basically going to be acting like a checks and balances like we have in our national government," Fox said.

The five people elected to the West Florence Fire District Board of Commission will help provide transparency and help make sure the West Florence Fire Department has the necessary funding to buy life saving equipment.

The people of West Florence are the only people who can vote in the upcoming September election.

Copyright 2014 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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