Supervisors schedule date for arguments in dispute over fire district serviceBy NIKKI ROWELL,
A date has been set for both the South Madison County Fire District and the city of Canton to present their arguments for who should service an area that is currently in the fire district.
The Canton Fire Chief Kenna Pierce requested in September that the board vote to de-annex the South Madison County Fire District along Calhoun Station Parkway from Church Road past the entrance of Panther Creek subdivision.
Businesses and residents of that area are being double taxed as a result of the overlap, Pierce said. However, South Madison County Fire District Chief Henry Davis has expressed opposition to the request.
Last week, the fire district’s attorney John Scanlon and the attorney for the city of Canton, Kimberly Banks, sat down together to discuss the issue. An agreement could not be reached, so the board of supervisors will hear arguments and possibly vote on the issue at the November 18 meeting, which begins at 5 p.m.
Board attorney Katie Bryant-Snell told the board on November 4 that she has maintained contact with attorneys for the South Madison Fire District and the city of Canton regarding the de-annexation request.
“This is an evolving discussion and more points have been brought up that really need to be discussed and considered,” Snell told the board. “I think we’re all in agreement that we need to sit down and have further discussion before it is presented.”
Snell added that the Madison County School District has since expressed interest in the discussion. However, at press time the Board of Education for Madison County did not have an official position on the issue.
“If Calhoun Station is taken out of our district, the response time for the fire department to get to your child, if they were involved in a vehicle accident, would increase, because Canton’s nearest station is six miles away compared to our three miles,” Davis wrote in a Facebook post after the issue was brought up in September.
The supervisors and attorney were in agreement that further analysis on either side of the argument is needed before a decision can be made.
“It’s been hanging out there too long,” District Five Supervisor Paul Griffin said.
District Three Supervisor Gerald Steen added, “Y’all really need to come together on this and come to some kind of resolution.”
The board of supervisors will meet on Monday, November 18 at 5 p.m.