Murrells Inlet Garden City Fire to discuss budget plan Monday - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Murrells Inlet Garden City Fire to discuss budget plan Monday

MURRELLS INLET, SC (WMBF) - The Murrells Inlet Garden City Fire department is holding a monthly budget meeting Monday night. The big topic on the list is the budget.

Voters approved a millage rate increase in March. This boosted the millage rate from 10-14 mills. Al Hitchcock, the board chairman, says this increase boosted the budget by 38-40 percent. The increase will cover the cost of a brand new fire station, payments on the new truck and ambulance, and hiring new firefighters to staff the new station.

They will need to hire three firefighters, an EMT, and a paramedic for the new Fire Station Four. The plan is to have the new station built and staffed by September 2016.

Of the four companies that bid on the fire station, Hitchcock says they are in discussions with the lowest bidder on how to bring the cost down even more. They are considering a shingle roof instead of a metal roof as a possible way to cut costs.

“The things that we can control, we will be looking at,” says Hitchcock. “Make sure everybody gets their value for their dollar that they’re paying in taxes.”

At the budget meeting, board members will also discuss increasing firefighters’ salaries and promotions.

“We have a few that we have part-time firefighters that are paramedics in other areas,” says Hitchcock. “And they ride the ambulance for us. We’ve been tossing it up would it be better to hire them full-time or keep them part-time.”

This will be the second reading of the budget. It must pass three reading to be approved. The third reading could be in December.

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