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      Governor Nikki Haley signs bill giving West Florence its own fire district

      Governor Nikki Haley signed House Bill 5225 into law Wednesday creating a separate fire district for West Florence, according to State Representative Phillip Lowe, (R) District 60.

      Lowe sponsored the bill earlier this month. It passed the House and Senate last week.

      The bill removes West Florence from Florence County's new consolidated fire district.

      The consolidation merged six fire districts into one.

      West Florence residents were upset because the consolidated district meant higher taxes for them.

      Florence County Council Chairman James Schofield said consolidation evened out taxes for everyone.

      He argued West Florence paid lower taxes for years, while residents in other areas paid more than double what West Florence paid.

      Schofield added they won't raise taxes for residents in the new consolidated district now that West Florence has its own fire district.

      Schofield said last week that council will pursue the legality of the bill and may wind up in a court battle.

      Council is expected to meet Thursday morning, and they could make a decision as to how they'll proceed with this matter.