Thursday, July 07, 2011


By David Dykes Staff writer
Published in THE GREENVILLE NEWS July 7, 2011
"Boiling Springs Fire Chief Steve Graham and Communication Service Center's Ronnie Channell looks at plans for the possible new station in a former church building off Pelham Road." - MYKAL MCELDOWNEY/GREENVILLE NEWS Staff

The Boiling Springs Fire Department plans to convert a church building off Pelham Road to a new fire station, adding firefighters to one of the fastest-growing areas of Greenville County and helping protect a coveted insurance rating for homeowners.
Boiling Springs Fire Chief Steve Graham told that the department has a contract to purchase property on Blacks Drive from the Vineyard Church of Greenville in a transaction that should close about Aug. 10.
He declined to discuss the purchase price or the cost of any renovations.
Church officials couldn't be reached for comment.
Graham said fire officials plan to ask Greenville County officials to issue a $2 million general obligation bond to buy the property, pay for renovations and purchase a fire truck and related equipment.
Fire officials are scheduled to make the request Monday to the County Council's Finance Committee, he said.
The new station should open Nov.1 and house an engine company and nine firefighters, Graham said.
Graham said the new station will the department's fourth and help it maintain a Class 1 ISO rating, which can directly impact homeowners' insurance premiums. The department's headquarters will remain on Pelham Road near Interstate 85, Graham said.
ISO evaluates municipal fire-protection efforts in communities throughout the United States.
Officials say a community's investment in fire mitigation is a reliable predictor of future fire losses, and insurance companies use the information to help establish premiums for fire insurance -- generally offering lower premiums in communities with better protection.
According to its website, the church in May began meeting at the Eastside YMCA. Greenville County property records show the church owns three parcels on Blacks Drive.
Graham said the site totals more than 5.4 acres. It has a swimming pool, which could be used for the department's dive-team training, but "that's one of those things -- do the costs outweigh the benefits?" Graham said.
"The main focus is to get the station in operation," he said. "And then we're going to take some time and look at would it be better for the taxpayers of this (fire) district and operation of this fire department to maybe look at splitting that down and maybe selling some of the property."
The department has an agreement with county recreation officials to use Oak Grove Lake for diver training, Graham said.
He said environmental assessments and surveys are being conducted at the church site along with engineering and architectural reviews.
County records show Graham and the Vineyard Church filed an application with the county Board of Zoning Appeals to convert the church building to the fire station.
A Greenville County spokesman said no rezoning for the fire station is necessary. By special exception, the Board of Zoning Appeals can approve uses such as fire protection in residential areas.

The board will hold a hearing on the application at 3 p.m. July 13 in the County Council's chambers.


Wednesday, July 06, 2011


Additional Fire Station and Bond Issue are Top Agenda Items
Contact: Taft Matney
Date: July 6, 2011
Phone: 864/505-8866
This Thursday, July 7, 2011 at 7:00 p.m., members of the Boiling Springs Fire District (Greenville County, SC) will conduct a public information meeting at 208 Blacks Drive, Greenville, SC 29615 – the former site of Vineyard Church and the site of the district’s proposed new fire station (Click HERE for directions).

During the meeting, Chief Steve Graham will present the district’s need for an additional station based on a recent survey from the Insurance Services Office (ISO), and he will present an overview of the station’s design to renovate the existing structure.

There will also be a presentation concerning a general obligation bond to pay for the additional station, and Boiling Springs Fire District Commissioners will take questions from the public in attendance.

Currently, the Boiling Springs Fire District holds a Class 1 rating (the only one in the Upstate) from ISO, but based on its recent survey, due to population increases, without the new station the district will fall to a Class 3 – a move that could impact insurance premiums for commercial and residential policy holders.

According to Chief Steve Graham, “Our commissioners and personnel work tirelessly to ensure that our residents and business owners receive the best fire and emergency response protection we can provide. This event is designed to obtain public input as we prepare to add another level of service to a growing part of our district.”

About the Boiling Springs Fire District 
Established in 1968 and located on Greenville County's Eastside, the Boiling Springs Fire District covers 15 square miles and serves over 26,000 residents. Governed by five commissioners recommended by county council and appointed by the governor, the Boiling Springs Fire District is a special purpose district responsible for addressing specific concerns and local issues among commercial and residential interests through 40 paid personnel and 20 volunteers operating out of 3 fire stations. The Boiling Springs Fire District is South Carolina's only ISO Class 1 fire department with a combination of paid and volunteer fire fighters.
For media inquiries, please contact Taft Matney by e-mail at or by phone at 864/505-8866.




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