Cayce plans to add firefighters

tflach@thestate.comMarch 20, 2013 

— Cayce may double its force of firefighters.

City Council members are looking at the addition of 12 firefighters in stages over the next four years to assure enough are available to start battling blazes immediately.

Cayce has a public safety force in which some police officers are called in to help when the current staff of nine firefighters needs assistance.

It’s a setup that often strains both staffs, especially in meeting annual fire safety training requirements, city manager Rebecca Rhodes said.

The plan under consideration would add three firefighters a year through 2017, an increase estimated to cost $471,000 when fully in place.

Part of the cost is slated to be paid for by savings from elimination of commercial trash pickup in a few months.

The alternative to adding firefighters is exploring a merger with West Columbia or Lexington County, a step city leaders don’t want to take.

So council members appear ready to add firefighters to assure service remains up to the level they want.

“It’s what we’re going to have to do,” councilman Skip Jenkins said.

New home for City Hall

Cayce may move its City Hall to the edge of its riverfront.

Council members are interested in moving the facility to a commercial area on Knox Abbott Boulevard near the bridge across the Congaree River.

The search for a new site comes after consultants said the current 48-year-old complex at 1800 12th Street is obsolete and too expensive to renovate.

City leaders are looking at a three-story building estimated to cost as much as $5 million. A plan to pay for it is in the works.

Reach Flach at (803) 771-8483.

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