Worth Commissioners need plan to raise money for paid fire dept - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Worth Commissioners need plan to raise money for paid fire dept

Bettye Bozeman, Worth County Commissioner Bettye Bozeman, Worth County Commissioner
Juanita Kinchen, Warwick Mayor Juanita Kinchen, Warwick Mayor
WORTH CO., GA (WALB) -

Worth County Commissioners are trying to figure out where to get tens of thousands of dollars to staff a fire department in the Warwick area. Both county commissioners and Warwick city council members say something has got to be done before someone loses a life.

Worth County Commissioners are still at a standstill on how to raise thousands of dollars for a paid fire department in Warwick. The county only has 18 paid firefighters and are looking to put six more in Warwick.

"We need the city of Warwick to pay for two firefighters and the county will pay for four,” said Bettye Bozeman, Worth County Commissioner.

It'll cost Warwick $54,000 a year and will cost the County $160,000. They'll also need at least $30,000 equipment. Warwick Mayor Juanita Kinchen says the department is needed, but isn't sure if they'll be able to come up with the money.

"We don't know if we can get that yearly,” said Warwick Mayor Junaita Kinchen.

She says the County needs unity in order to raise the money.

"So we really need a fire department, now I would like for the whole surrounding area, the city of Warwick, outside of Warwick on the lake to come together,” said Mayor Kinchen.

The ISO rating in that part of the county is now a 10, the worst possible rating. That caused home insurance premiums to skyrocket. County Commissioner Bettye Bozeman says having a paid fire department could lower the rating to at least a 5. The County also only has 20 active volunteer firefighters and needs more.

"The more volunteers we have the more backup help we've got the better our ISO ratings count on a fire,” said Commissioner Bozeman.

Bozeman says this has been a topic of discussion for the past three years, and it's time for action.

"We gotta do something here,” said Commissioner Bozeman.

Warwick and Worth County leaders are working on a date for another meeting to discuss the funding.

Copyright 2014 WALB. All rights reserved.

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