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Fire plan on hold for now

Lincoln County supervisors briefly discussed a five-year fireprotection plan proposed by area volunteers Monday, but called it”premature” to address the subject in depth.

The five-year plan is being promoted by the Lincoln CountyVolunteer Firefighters Association in their efforts to improve thecounty’s fire rating from a 10 to a 9.

Kirk Douglas, vice-president of the volunteer organization, saidcounty residents would save $200-300 a year on fire insurance on a$55,000 home if they could achieve the goal.

Lincoln County Fire Coordinator Clifford Galey, who was notpresent at Monday’s meeting, said Friday that conceptual approvalof the plan would allow county fire departments to begin compilingcosts of seeking the improvements.

Board Attorney Bob Allen told Douglas he remembered “runningsome numbers” on the five-year plan when it was first proposed afew years ago, and he came up with a $15 million cost to make thoseimprovements.

Douglas said he didn’t know how much the cost would be.

When the topic switched to preparing the county fire departmentsfor changes that would occur after the city’s annexation, Allensaid such considerations were “premature.”

Allen said he spoke with several of the citizens opposing theannexation recently and they assured him they had the money for anappeal.

“It could be two years before the judges can issue a ruling onthat with the appeal,” he said, adding a ruling could be madesooner if judges give it a high priority.

The subject was tabled for future consideration.

In other matters, the supervisors declined to grant ad valoremtax exemptions to two Lincoln County businesses until more researchcould be made into the requests.

Denbury Resources had requested a $1.9 million tax exemption andContinental Carbonics had asked for a $2.7 million exemption.

“The statute is discretionary on your part as to what you grantor don’t grant,” Allen said.

Supervisors questioned some of the costs listed by thebusinesses as tax exempt.

“I could see exempting property and equipment, but tools and allthat, I’m not so sure,” said District Four Supervisor W.D. “Doug”Moak.

The board then adjourned following a 45-minute long executivesession to discuss personnel.