The Blenheim Rural Fire District celebrated the opening of its new Brownsville Fire Station Wednesday afternoon, November 8, with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
The new station is located at 5222 Screw Pin Road, just off Highway 38 South. It replaces an old wooden structure that had served the community for nearly 30 years, and is one of five stations that serve the Blenheim fire district.
Participating in the ceremony were Blenheim Fire Chief David Rogers, Marlboro County Council Chairman Jason Steen and Councilman Steve Blackmon, who represents the Blenheim area’s District 7. Also present were County Councilmen Willie Gladden and Verd Odom, County Administrator Ron Munnerlyn, Sheriff Charles Lemon, and Fire Coordinator Keith Hughes, as well as about a dozen onlookers.
“We wanted to make sure that, when we have something good happen, we celebrate it,” said Munnerlyn.
Chief Rogers said the new station will allow the fire department to better serve the citizens.
Steen further explained that it will help lower ISO ratings for residents, who in turn will see savings on their insurance premiums. He said the county has worked hard on public safety issues like fire protection, and it is an example of “tax dollars spent right.”
Blackmon added, “This is just an example of what working together for the betterment of the whole county can do.”
Marlboro County government assesses a dedicated property tax millage for fire service annually and distributes the funds that are collected to the county’s fire districts for operating expenses.
Since 2009, county council, in cooperation with the fire service, has developed a formal plan for the use of these tax dollars, leading to better equipment, closer proximity of residents to fire stations, and lower insurance premiums.
An open house at the fire station is planned for Saturday, November 11.