Study for New EMS Headquarters Approved

Department of Public Works Director, Dale Satterfield presented two requests to County Council this week regarding planning for county facilities. He suggested the planning research be conducted in two phases, noting “Laurens County has been developing a long-range plan to address neglect of capital needs for the taxpayers.”

In phase one, Satterfield requested Laurens County hire a firm to conduct a feasibility study of the needs for county office space and produce an estimate of the entire cost for addressing the needs. This facility would include a new law enforcement center, coroner’s office facility, emergency operations center, fire and rescue offices and the county’s 911 center in one complex. Satterfield said there is not now sufficient room for these government functions and there is no room for growth in the future.  The financial amount requested for these extensive planning studies, Dale Satterfield noted, would not exceed $25,000.

Satterfield suggested the second phase be another study conducted to determine the requirements of a new Laurens County EMS Headquarters building. That study would also cost $25,000, based on a proposal to the County Purchasing Director from Greenville-based company Stuart Cooper Newhall.

The Public Works Director proposed the studies be funded from the FILOT Special Projects Fund #156.

At their regular meeting Tuesday evening, Laurens County Council voted down the first phase for studying needs of a Laurens County Public Safety Complex. Council members McDaniel, Pitts and Wood voted no. Joe Wood explained his opposition, saying, “We don’t need to spend money to have outsiders to tell us what we need, when we have all our department heads and county workers to tell us.” He added, “We don’t even have the property decided on yet. It’s just wasted money.”

Funding the second phase study regarding a new EMS Headquarters, however, was approved over no votes from Council members David Pitts and Joe Wood.

Dale Satterfield also advised County Council that the $90,000 budgeted for a Northrop Photo Flyover of Laurens County is not needed. H said that a state-wide fly over planned for this winter will meet the needs of Laurens County, without the planned expense.