How to provide emergency services to North-West Laurens County
Council members will tour building.
A building in which most Laurens County Council members have not yet walked - the Northern Laurens County Emergency Center, near ZF Transmission - will be visited next Wednesday.
At the county council’s Nov. 12 meeting, council member Brown Patterson asked the council to designate the space within this building - two offices for the Sheriff, one for Fire Service and one for EMS. There are bays for fire and ambulance equipment, but these must be heated and are not yet operational in that way. Council Chairman Dr. David Pitts said he would be more comfortable with Patterson’s suggestion if he and others actually had walked inside the structure.
The long-range plan for Laurens County emergency response did not include a station here - since the county already mans fire and rescue in Gray Court and at the Thompson Road station near Fountain Inn. But former State Rep. Mike Pitts, now a county magistrate, secured a $900,000 grant to construct this building to provide expanded service in Gray Court-Owings-Fountain Inn, and for industries along the I-385 Corridor. Since then, a new industrial park, The Connexial Center, has been carved into land on the opposite side of I-385. The Laurens County Development Corporation is advocating a $60 million plan to upgrade highway access and possibly build a new interchange on I-385 to accommodate growth.
Patterson said the new building’s punch list is done, now it just needs furniture for occupancy.
But Fire Service Director Greg Lindley said a fire truck cannot be located there until its bay is heated. Council Vice-chairman Joe Wood fretted about the additional cost - “How much more money is this going to take? A third of the building is completed and it’s going to cost $300,000 more for furniture.”
Patterson made a motion to designate the space but it was tabled. “Why don’t we just meet there?” Wood said. Council member Diane Anderson made a motion to table the matter until the first meeting in January, seconded by Wood (motion to table was a superior motion to Patterson’s previous motion). Motion to table passed, 5-2, with Patterson and Jeff Carroll voting “no”.
Pitts then designated a council-as-the-whole committee to examine the building - council members will meet there at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 27, to have the committee meeting, and tour of the facility with county buildings personnel.