Fire Insurance was the main topic at last night’s Laurens County Council meeting. Laurens County Fire Service Director, Greg Lindley, addressed council on the problem of major increases in fire insurance rates for many county residents.
Lindley claims that the increase is due to the fact that insurance companies are now enforcing a policy that charges residents a higher rate for living more than five miles away from a fire station.
In the past, said Lindley, distances of homes to a fire station were just estimated, but now, with global positioning devices, any small amount over five miles can be determined, resulting in a higher rate.
Lindley, along with Laurens County Emergency Communications Director, Joey Avery, told council that they have begun a thorough review of the county’s fire protection system, and have identified the areas where the locations of the fire stations may present problems for homeowners.
They found that in some cases, a dwelling may be located closer in road miles to a station in a neighboring fire district, than the one it is listed in.
The board was told that one way to solve that problem would be to relocate fire district lines, but that would be a long and tedious process for county staff, and fire departments. Lindley said that it can be done, and feels that the process could be completed by July.
July is when the Insurance Services Office, which is an agency that provides date to insurance companies, will be in Laurens County. What they report to insurance companies will determine the rates they charge.
The board was also faced with the fact that there are some county dwellings that no matter how the lines are drawn will not fall within the five-mile limit.
That would cause the homeowner’s classification to jump from a class five to a class ten rating. That jump could cause the yearly rate to double in some cases.
Council unanimously approved a measure to set up a committee to look into solutions that may involve moving existing fire stations, and possibly building new ones.
In other action last night, County Council unanimously approved Resolution proclaiming World Aids Day on December first. World Aids Day was instituted by former President Ronald Reagan in 1987.
Also at last night’s meeting, James Williams, owner of Williams Barber Shop, was presented a commendation for serving the county for sixty years through his shop on Fleming Street in Laurens.