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BSL commissioners decide again to donate money to fire department

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BOILING SPRING LAKES, NC (WWAY) -- A Boiling Spring Lakes city leader called a special council meeting today after he says he received important information about the fire department.

Mayor Pro Tem Charlie Carroll said the department was not honest when it got council to donate money for a piece of equipment. Others said that's not the case.

Wednesday's special meeting all came down to this: how many cameras did the Boiling Spring Lakes Fire Department plan on purchasing, and where was that funding coming from?

"We were given, what I believe, was misinformation, and I think it was intentional," Carroll said.

Carroll says when the fire department asked for money for a thermal imaging camera, it failed to mention a $4,000 donation from the ladies auxiliary.

"If they have $4,000 in there in their pocket, that they know about, and they don't share that with us, they are not being forthcoming," Carroll said.

Carroll called for a special council meeting to reveal the information, but other members of council and Fire Chief Chris Grace were not sure they needed to meet.

"I don't understand the need for them to know whoever is buying us something," Grace said.

Grace says he's been trying for months to get two cameras for the department.

Commissioner Craig Caster says he does not feel misled by anything the department said.

"The city was voting on one camera," Caster said. "What else the fire department does is really none of the city's responsibility."

In the end, commissioners voted to uphold their decision to make a $5,500 donation to the volunteer fire department. Like the first time around, Carroll voted no.

Carroll said even if he'd voted yes to begin with, he still would have wanted the meeting.

"Yeah, I had to think about that. Yes, because we were here today because we were given information that was withheld from us," Carroll said. "So regardless of my vote, with this new information I would have wanted a return and said, 'Do we really want to do this?'"

Commissioner Barbara Glidden says she is disappointed with the entire board. She felt there was too much new information that came to light today, and the board should further investigate the situation to make a sound decision on future of their donation.

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I have lived in BSL for 36

I have lived in BSL for 36 years and have always supported to fire department and have the utmost respect for each and every one both past and present. However, Chief Grace must not be the brightest bulb on the string, with Craig Caster running a close second if he cannot understand that asking for taxpayer funds to buy a piece of equipment when money for that item has been received from another source. I also have taken note of those who voted to allocate the funds anyhow after learning of the situation. Obviously, Mr. Caster does not have the best interest of the taxpayers of BSL in mind.

ladies auxiliary

What the board needs to realize is the money the Ladies auxiliary earns is just that. The ladies auxiliary's money. It is not taken into account on the fire department statements and is controlled by the president and members of the ladies auxiliary.

They control where that 4,000 dollar donation goes to. If they use it to keep a canteen truck stocked for the firefighters on a long call they can do that. I have seen donations in my time as a firefighter come in from the public or the auxiliary and orders for the donations per the donors request.. That could be "hey use this to buy more hose, a thermal camera or something as simple hey treat the crew to a meal on me.

The realization is we citizens are not stupid!

We citizens already pay fire fees for protection in this city. When you ask for money from the city (our pocket books) you are in fact raising those fire fees. When the city asks the fire department if they have tried other resources for funds or have received funds from other resources those that are asking are doing their job for those of us that elected them. It is reported now that not only did the fire department withhold that information but further the fire chief stated basically, "this is none of your business" to the council. There is no excuse for that being withheld and certainly if not criminal it was a huge omission of fact to the citizens that displays no respect or ethics from the leaders of that department.

Our gratitude is owed to whomever broke out with the truth and shame on the ones that withheld that truth but also continue to thumb there noses at we citizens that demand and deserve full and truthful accountability.

Fire Dept

WOW They have not had a house fire in over 2 years and they need two
camera, plus they already have one. Makes senses to me, let's buy one for everyone in town and increase the taxes.

Really you are going to make

Really you are going to make a comment like that. First of all it doesn't matter if they have had a house fire in two years or not. A thermal imaging camera can be used for alot more things than just a fire. It is a great tool to use at night for search and rescue operation. It can be used on calls for investigations of smoke in order to find the source behind sheetrock walls. Mister taxpayer also you must have never seen what a firefighter(paid or volunteer) must go through in a house fire. Next time you walk into a pitch dark room and you can't see your hand in front of your face then imagine a child lying on the floor and its your job to find them cause the mom and dad are yelling that there child is inside and has not come out. So next time you make a comment about fire equipment just think it might be the equipment used at your emergency.

BSL Special Meeting

Craig Caster, at this mornings' meeting stated that those volunteer firemen don't need to be there. That they could all quit and our insurance rates would skyrocket. That sir, was extortion!! What you were saying is don't question them. Don't say no to anything they want. Don't even try to oversee what goes on over there. Otherwise
you can count on your house burning down. I resent that sir!! If I knew it would do any good I would bring criminal charges regarding that statement. In fact, I have made an appointment with ADA of Brunswick County to discuss just that.

Any citizen who heard that should also resent it. We support our firemen because we want to. But we also want the leadership to be accountable for the monies they are alloted. That's not only a requirement. It's their obligation to citizens they support.