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      Timmonsville mayor upset over county's proposed take over of his fire department

      Timmonsville Mayor Darrick Jackson holds a news conference on the state of the town's fire department.

      Timmonsville Mayor Darrick Jackson said in a news conference Monday that he is not getting the information he needs about Florence County's proposal to take over the town's fire department.

      The fire station has been criticized for failing to respond to a few house fires over the summer.

      "The information from the fire department and its chief, is that it (fire department) has been doing extremely well. And I can assure that the chief and every fireman and every fire woman do their diligence to get to a fire," said Mayor Jackson.

      Jackson also discussed Florence County's pitch to take over Timmonsville Fire Department.

      He accuses the county of using the media to sway residents toward a take over.

      "Let me be clear. The fate of the fire station in the town of Timmonsville, will not be negotiated in the media. We're not gone sit here and negotiate through the media. We are people. We have the intelligence and the only thing we want is the respect," explained Jackson.

      He says Florence County Fire Services Director Sam Brockington made a presentation to the town on the take over in September, but that's the last they heard from the county.

      "We must sit down and negotiate. I haven't seen not one sheet of paper concerning the millage, the ordinance or anything. We just not gonna do business that way."

      Brockington says he's provided information to Timmonsville that the takeover would call for a tax increase of 20-25 mills. That's about an $80 a year increase on a $100,000 home.

      He says the town's ISO rating would drop from 6 to 4 and Timmonsville could save roughly $30,000 a year.

      Brockington says he's asked the town to form a committee to look into the advantages and disadvantages of the county assuming control of the fire department.

      He says the county will reach out to Timmonsville again before the November 30 deadline to make a decision to say yes or no to the takeover.