10/02/07 — Pikeville fire rates reduced

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Pikeville fire rates reduced

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on October 2, 2007 1:51 PM

PIKEVILLE -- As of Monday, it's cheaper to insure a house against fire in the Pikeville-Pleasant Grove Fire District, the fire chief said.

After an April inspection by the N.C. Office of the State Fire Marshal's Department of Insurance, the fire rating was improved from Class 7 to Class 6, Fire Chief Wesley Wooten said. Class 1 is the highest rating.

The class improvement adds up to insurance savings for homeowners and commercial property owners in Pikeville and throughout the Pleasant Grove Fire District.

Average savings for a $90,000 stick-built 1978 home would be $86.77 a year, according to a handout the chief provided.

The rating of Class 6 is the best homeowners can hope for, Wooten said.

A news release from State Fire Marshal Jim Long's office congratulated the department on the performance of his department.

"While lower rating do not necessarily indicate poor service, a higher rating does suggest that a department is overall better equipped to respond to fires in its district," Long said.

State law requires the fire marshal's office to inspect departments serving districts with 100,000 residents or less. All but six of the state's fire departments fall in that category, Long said.

To keep up with residential growth, Wooten said he expects the Pleasant Grove department -- currently all volunteer -- to need full-time employees sometime in the next five years.

"We're going to have to start having some paid staff, to make us up some of those points," as Pikeville and other areas covered by Pleasant Grove get more commercial and residential development, the chief said.

In other news, Commissioner Lyman Galloway said he'd like to strengthen enforcement of a 1999 policy forbidding tobacco smoke in town vehicles and properties. Mayor Herbert Sieger said stickers could be placed in town vehicles and other locations to remind employees of the policy.