York County Council OKs money for fire training center

jself@heraldonline.comNovember 5, 2012 

— The York County Council unanimously approved earmarking $3.1 million for a new fire training center and allowing businesses to put up temporary signs without a permit.

The council gave final approval to both measures at its Monday night meeting after public hearings on both issues. No one spoke against or in favor.

The council agreed to take $3.1 million in bond money set aside for fire substations and use it for building a new fire training center instead – a plan widely endorsed by the county's fire chiefs and rural fire board.

The county plans to build the new training center off of McFarland Road just south of York near a county landfill. It will replace the county’s existing facility on Ogden Road in southern Rock Hill.

David Jennings, chief of Flint Hill Fire Department, said at an October council meeting that initial estimates completed by a consulting firm are higher than what the county needs to build the facility.

The consultants said the center, built in two phases, would cost around $6 million, including classrooms, a 12,500-square-foot shop, and a burn tower and building for simulating fires for training.

The county is not committed to the consultants for building the training center. Fire chiefs and county officials have been looking at nearby fire facilities and working with county engineers to see what design changes could yield savings, said Anna Moore, assistant county manager.

Moore said the county would like to reissue a call for proposals by the end of the year or early next year.

Temporary signs approved

The council unanimously approved changes to its sign rules, making it easier for businesses to place temporary signs on their property.

The changes will allow York County businesses to place up to three temporary signs on their property as long as the signs meet some guidelines.

The signs must be no more than 4 square feet in area and no more than 4 feet tall or wide. They must be located at least 10 feet from all street rights of way and cannot impede drivers’ visibility. They must be self-supporting or secured to a building, canopy or light poles in business parking areas. They cannot be affixed to trees, fences, roofs, or telephone / power poles. Signs can remain up only between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. and must be taken down each night.

A previous version of the proposal allowed for two temporary signs up to 16 square feet each and allowed for pennants, flags and banners to be put up temporarily.

Hearing complaints from some Lake Wylie community members about the danger of clutter on the roadways, planning officials decided to exclude pennants, flags and banners and reduce the size of allowable temporary signs.

The changes will not impact businesses in Lake Wylie’s special zoning district.

Jamie Self 803-329-4062

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