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Long Commission OKs buying fire truck
0114 Long commish mtg
Ludowici/Long County Fire Chief Darrell Ballance, right, and Assistant Chief Richard Truman asked the county commission for two new engines at a recent meeting. - photo by Photo by Mike Riddle

During a recent meeting, the Long County Commission was asked by developer Cliff Ray to approve a change in the adopted covenant guidelines for the Cutters Gap subdivision.
The current covenant guidelines require that homes built in the subdivision be at least 1,500 square feet, but because of the economy and other financial factors, most Long County potential homebuyers cannot afford a house that size, Ray said. He wants the commission to approve reducing the required home size to 1,000 square feet.
Long County Attorney Jay Swindell asked Ray whether any homes in Cutters Gap had been sold under the current covenant guidelines. Ray said yes. Swindell briefly reviewed the guidelines and told commissioners they had no authority over the covenant because it’s a contract agreement between the seller and buyer.
Swindell said the county can intervene only to ensure that homes built in the subdivision meet state and county code requirements. Commissioners took no action on the issue.
Bruce Ballance, owner of Tow-Reffic Towing, again asked the commission to add his business to the county’s rotation of wreckers that are called when accidents occur. Ballance said he met all of the rotation requirements, but his company still had not been added.
The commission determined no one had contacted the Wiregrass E-911 Center in Darien to have Ballance added to the list, and they weren’t sure who was supposed to make the call.
 “He’s met all of the qualifications. All he needs is for someone to call the 911 center and put him on the list,” Commissioner Wallace Shaw said.
Commission Chairman Bobby Walker said a final draft of a proposed wrecker and towing ordinance, which is nearly complete, will designate a licensing officer who will be responsible for adding to the rotation and removing companies from it.
Ludowici/Long County Fire Department Chief Darrell Ballance went before the commission to request two new fire trucks. Ballance said an engine at the Rye Patch substation is 33 years old and in need of a $6,000 pump repair. Instead of making a costly repair to an old truck, Ballance recommended buying a 1983 engine and a 1987 engine. One truck would go to the city of Ludowici and the other would go to the Rye Patch station, he said. The cost for both vehicles would be $40,000 if the county buys them through East Coast Apparatus Sales, Ballance said.
The chief said it’s imperative to buy the engines if the county wants to improve its fire protection services throughout the county. For example, he said, the Insurance Service Organization ratings in the Jones Creek Loop and Alma Flournay Road areas recently improved from a Class 10 to a Class 5, which lowered homeowners’ insurance rates.
After a brief discussion, commissioners voted to approve the purchases using SPLOST funds.
Ballance also introduced the commission to the department’s new assistant chief, Richard Truman.

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