Homeowners complain about lack of fire protection - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Homeowners complain about lack of fire protection

Warwick Mayor, Juanita Kinchen Warwick Mayor, Juanita Kinchen
Thomas Hunt Thomas Hunt

People packed the Worth County Commission meeting Thursday night, demanding fire protection in the Lake Blackshear area.

They don't have full-time firefighters there, and that's caused huge increases in homeowners' insurance premiums. County leaders agree they need fire service there. They just don't know how to pay for it.

Residents say they've seen insurance premiums go up as much as 80% percent, and some are even having a hard time qualifying for insurance. "We are here tonight and we are looking at all of you to make a decision in a timely manner," said homeowner Thomas hunt.

Unfortunately the disgruntled Warwick and north Worth County residents did not get the vote they wanted. Hunt said, "I think they are going to have to set some priorities and maybe have to delay the nice to do things and pull to the forefront those basic services that everybody needs"

Commissioners decided to hold a workshop Monday to try to find a way to staff a fire station in the area full time. Those residents say they already pay enough property taxes, and they shouldn't have to pay more for fire protection. Speaking for the group, Hunt said, "It's a basic service, I mean I could see paying extra if you wanted a ball field, or a swimming pool or something but I don't see anything that you would want to put ahead of a fire department"

Some people believe the city of Warwick should should chip in, but the mayor doesn't agree. "The people on the lake wanted us to pay the $52,000 for everybody to get the fire protection, but we as a council and myself think that it is not fair that we pay the total $52,000 and they get coverage too because we pay city and county tax"

That would leave the full bill to Worth County. Either way, the property owners want a fire station. If they don't get one, they plan to make their voices heard in November's commission election.

"On Monday night, if we don't get what we want we will be looking for somebody to run to represent us and get what we need in that North Worth County District," said Hunt.

That Monday meeting will be held at the Community Center at 7 p.m.

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