Laurens County Fire Service Coordinator Greg Lindley reported to Laurens County Council last night on an urgent need for repairs to the Durban Creek Fire Station. Lindley told council that an inspection by the county’s insurance carrier discovered several major structural and wiring issues. He said these included discovering that wiring in the fire station was not to code. Lindley said this is a fire hazard. He added that the exterior metal walls and the roof are in need of repair and the right side wall and the back wall are coming off their foundation. The Fire Coordinator presented three bids received with different options and prices for the repair. Medlin Builders submitted the lowest bid for the option of doing all necessary repairs plus removing the current dayroom and making back into a bay area and adding a new dayroom/classroom on the rear of the building. Their price was $50,035. Lindley said that Durban Creek Fire Department only has two thousand dollars in the bank. He said if council agrees for the county to pay for the repairs the money would come from the fire coordinator fund.
Councilman Keith Tollison questioned the wisdom of the county funding the repairs since it does not own the building. County Administrator Ernie Segars told council that there are other fire buildings that are of the same age as Durban Creek. Fire Coordinator Lindley agreed that at least seven buildings will also soon be needing repair. He noted that due to the condition of Durban Creek building they received a $3,000 gas bill one month this winter.
Meanwhile, Durban Creek Fire Department said it was willing to turn the building over to the county. Administrator Segars said this would enable the county to issue bonds to fund the project.
Due to the urgent nature of the need for repairs, council decided to approve a motion made by Tollison, to proceed with the repairs, on the contingency that the building will be turned over to the county.
Councilman Joe Wood still questioned the county taking ownership of the building. Ernie Segars responded that the newer fire stations are already owned by the county, and that the older ones will all need repair soon and that a bond issue can only be raised if the county owns them.