Horry County officials plan to purchase a two-acre site on Singleton Ridge Road that will hold a long-awaited fire station for the S.C. 544 corridor.
The purchase is the latest move to close Horry County Fire Station No. 23 on Victory Lane and build a facility closer to the subdivisions along one of the county’s busiest arteries.
Two years ago, many residents in the Carolina Lakes neighborhood called the county wanting to know why their homeowners insurance rates had skyrocketed. When county officials looked into the matter, they learned the insurance companies had begun using technology that more accurately measured the proximity of nearby fire stations.
Many houses were more than a 5-mile drive from a station, and that discovery led to an increase in homeowners rates.
“A bunch of residents in that neighborhood, their insurance rates tripled and in some cases quadrupled,” said Horry County Councilman Johnny Vaught, whose district includes Carolina Lakes.
To address the problem, earlier this year County Council approved the sale of the 2.62-acre Victory Lane property to Horry Georgetown Technical College for $350,000. HGTC will use the property for parking and storage space.
The county plans to use the proceeds from the sale to buy the land on Singleton Ridge Road from Burroughs & Chapin Co. Inc.
County staff have negotiated a price on the property — which Vaught said is close to the same amount HGTC will pay the county — but County Council must first approve the purchase. The deal sailed through the county’s Public Safety Committee and will go before the full council for final approval next month.
“The sooner the better,” County Councilman Al Allen said. “We need that station.”
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