West Florence growth creates need for more fire stations

Pee Dee

The Florence City Council plans to adapt to West Florence growth through fire station projects and plans to upgrade the city’s wastewater treatment. At the city council meeting on Monday, officials said the 2019-20 budget is $92.848 million. 

City Manager Drew Griffin told News13 the Ben Dozier Fire Station would be relocated near the intersection of David McLeod Boulevard and West Palmetto Street. Also, a new fire station would be built along Ebenezer Road and West Palmetto Street.

“There is growth that is occurring along the I-20, I-95 interchange, but also there is some push from the school district standpoint that people enjoy West Florence more. The city certainly supports that, but the city also supports uniformed growth,” Griffin said. 

According to officials, the fire department saw a 30 percent increase in calls received from the West Florence area last year. Moving the Ben Dozier Fire Station will cost the city $2.5 million.

Mayor Pro Tempore Buddy Brand said a group is interested in buying the Ben Dozier station. If the group buys it, that money will also help with the project, Brand added.

The new fire station is estimated to cost $2.5 million also. But, the amount doesn’t include the land acquisition or $1.1 million for equipment. The new station would also need 12 firefighters to work there.

Out of the nearly $93 million budget, an estimated $35 million will go towards the city’s wastewater system.

West Florence growth has created problems with the travel of wastewater to the main wasterwater plant in East Florence. Since all waste from the west side of town must travel east, officials said making improvements is neccesary.

“To run the city in a more efficient way, but to also expand our services,” Brand said.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control pushed the city to relocate the interceptor from Jeffries Creek to a location on Second Loop Road. Brand told News13 what the city’s main goals are.

“Clean up of the sewer and just providing water to home owners in certain areas, so that is probably like a 29 million to 40 million dollar project.”

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