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Accident at fire station reported to commission

The McDuffie County Commission heard an initial report Aug. 16 on an Aug. 14 accident that damaged the Fire/EMS station at Raysville.

"I'm just glad no one was hurt," Commission President Charlie Newton said.

Fire Chief Bruce Tanner said according to the information he has received, a truck ran off Highway 43 for an unknown reason, drove through the Bob's Café parking lot, and slammed into the side of the fire station. Tanner said the truck slid about six feet up the flagpole and heavily damaged the fire station and the fire truck parked inside.

The driver walked away unhurt, Tanner said.

He said the driver's insurance company has asked him to obtain estimates on repairs for the vehicle and the building.

Tanner said the truck stationed at Raysville has been considered for surplus status after the county recently bought two new fire trucks for about $300,000 each.

Newton reminded officials and the audience that county leaders have talked about a new fire station for the Raysville area.

The discussion was informational, and no action was taken.

Earlier in the evening, commissioners adopted the 2012 county budget and the supporting 2011 millage as advertised. There was no comment offered at public hearings held on each subject.

The commission approved easing the hiring freeze to recruit an administrative assistant for the road department. The position has been vacant since July 22. Public Works Director Rusty Allen told The McDuffie Mirror that the assistant will work 8 to 5 weekdays.

Commissioners also paid some invoices for the Pitts Street area improvements in Thomson from the Special Fund. That work was authorized by the city and the county. The four invoices total $12,816, according to County Manager Don Norton. Once again, commissioners were divided about whether to spend from that account. Commissioner Bill Jopling moved that the county pay the invoices.

The motion was seconded by Commissioner Sammie Wilson. Jopling and Wilson voted for the measure; Paul McCorkle and the Rev. Fred Favors voted against. Chairman Newton broke the tie, voting in favor of the payments.

The commission stopped short of authorizing another approximately $120,000 in payments from that account, but will consider those bills separately when they are presented.

In the public comment period, Dewey "Bo" Boling of Thomson asked why only the major portion of Mesena Road was repaved this year.

Newton replied that the decision was based on available funds.

Boling also said the commission has been torn in recent months by "too much tension and back-stabbing."

Web posted on Thursday, August 25, 2011

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