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West Florence Fire District to join Florence County Unified Fire District

West Florence Fire District will no longer be a special purpose district in Florence County.

West Florence Fire District will no longer be a special purpose district in Florence County.

"We're gonna continue to do the best we can to provide excellent fire and rescue service," Fire Chief Howard Worrell said.

The South Carolina Supreme Court denied the fire district's appeal after South Carolina Circuit Court Judge J.C. Nicholson, Jr. ruled against the new district.

The ruling means the district will join the Florence County's unified fire district.

"We receive our funding presents from the district board of commissioners and then should, funding will then come from the unified fire district," Worrell said.

Representative Phillip Lowe supported the special district and says it was started to keep taxes low for people who live in the district.

"Prevent the tax payers from getting the extra taxes on them and so they could continue to administrate and govern themselves," Lowe said.

According to the county, right now for fire services, the millage rate for homeowners in the West Florence Fire District is 12.8 mils. Homeowners in the unified district pay 19.5 mils.

If homeowner in the former West Florence Fire District have to match the county's millage rate, they'll see about a $28 a year increase, for every $100,000 in home value.

County Administrator Rusty Smith said it is too early to say how the change will affect taxes in West Florence.

Chief Worrell said an increase in funding could mean more firefighters.

"If the money that is generated in the West Florence Fire District is allocated proportionally, then we will see an increase in our operating revenue and that'll translate into more firefighters at more of my stations," Worrell said.

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