2017 South Carolina Code of Laws
Title 4 - Counties
CHAPTER 19 - FIRE PROTECTION SERVICES
Section 4-19-10. Powers of governing body generally.
The governing body of each county has the following powers:
(a) To establish, operate, and maintain a system of fire protection.
(b) To designate, subject to the provisions of Section 4-19-20, the areas of the county where fire protection service may be furnished by the county under the provisions of this chapter (referred to in this chapter as service areas); provided, however, that these service areas shall exclude those areas where fire protection is then being furnished by some other political subdivision unless an agreement be entered into between the county and such other political subdivision for the joint exercise of fire protection powers within the service area of such political subdivision and the sharing of the costs thereof.
(c) To buy such fire-fighting equipment as the governing body deems necessary for the purpose of controlling fires within the service areas.
(d) To select sites or places within the service areas where the fire-fighting equipment must be kept.
(e) To employ all necessary fire protection personnel and fix their compensation.
(f) To employ and supervise the training of firemen to insure that the equipment is utilized for the best interest of all service areas within the county.
(g) To be responsible for the purchase, acquisition, upkeep, maintenance, and repairs of all fire-fighting equipment and fire stations and the sites of the stations.
(h) To promulgate such relations as it may deem proper and necessary to insure that the equipment is being used to the best advantage of the county and to carry out the provisions of this chapter.
(i) To construct the necessary buildings to house the equipment authorized by this chapter, and all fire stations necessary to provide an adequate fire protection system.
(j) To place into effect and to revise, whenever it so wishes or may be required, a schedule of rates and charges for the furnishing of fire protection services within each service area.
(k) To appoint officers, agents, employees, and servants, to prescribe the duties of such, to fix their compensation, and to determine if and to what extent they must be bonded for the faithful performance of their duties.
(l) To effect the levy and collection of ad valorem taxes without limit as to rate or amount upon all taxable property in each service area where fire protection services are furnished to effect the payment of principal and interest of all bonds issued pursuant to this chapter or required for the maintenance and operation of the fire protection system.
(m) To exercise any and all other powers necessary to operating and maintaining a system of fire protection.
HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 14-700.201; 1974 (58) 2681; Re-enacted 1984 Act No. 408, Section 2.
1992 Act No. 519 Section 1, effective thirty days after September 3, 1992, provides as follows:
"SECTION 1. As incident to the adoption of this amendment to Act 408 of the Acts and Joint Resolutions of the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina, the General Assembly finds that Act 408 of 1984, which was adopted in order to reverse the holding of the Supreme Court of South Carolina in the case of City of Myrtle Beach v. Richardson, 280 S.C. 167, 311 S.E.2d 922 (1984), is a useful and needed vehicle for the provision of fire protection services to residents and businesses in the unincorporated areas of the State. The utility of Act 408 of 1984 has been limited by the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Carolina Power & Light Co. v. Darlington County, S.C., 405 S.E.2d 823 (1991), in which the court narrowly construed the purpose of a limitations period contained in Act 408. The court's ruling has left the creation of fire protection districts pursuant to Act 408 subject to challenge for an unlimited period of time. The General Assembly adopts this act to clarify the procedure to be followed by the governing bodies of counties in the establishment of fire protection districts, to provide that the limitations period contained in Act 408 applies to all challenges to the establishment of a taxing district for fire protection created under the act, and to provide for the validity of fire protection districts established on the effective date of this act pursuant to Act 408 of 1984."