The Wilkes County commissioners approved expanded fire districts for the Champion, Traphill and Buck Shoals fire departments Monday night.
The expanded Champion and Buck Shoals districts include most of areas these two departments lost as a result of recent remapping of the districts using GIS (geographic information system) technology.
All of the fire districts in Wilkes were remapped with GPS technology to comply with N.C. Department of Insurance requirements.
The new district lines are more accurate, but this left some areas of Wilkes more than six road miles from a fire station or substation and therefore out of a fire district. It also moved some property from one district to another.
The Champion Fire Department has the largest district and lost the most acreage. Champion incurred a $15,000 net annual loss in fire tax revenue, but regained all but about $1,000 when most of the part of the Buck Mountain subdivision it lost was brought back within six road miles of the Champion substation on Siffords Branch Road with completion of Lazy Bear Lane.
Lazy Bear Lane, about a mile long, was built from U.S. 421 West to Deer Run Road in the western end of Buck Mountain. The Buck Mountain Property Owners Association paid to have Lazy Bear Lane built.
The gated, paved Lazy Bear Lane also provides emergency egress and ingress to Buck Mountain, a 3,000-acre gated community with over 30 miles of private roads and over 230 fulltime and part-time homes.
Champion Fire Chief Craig Hollar said the portion of Buck Mountain removed from the Champion district as a result of re-mapping is in the northern (Summit) end of the subdivision.
Hollar said the cost of fire insurance for a residence outside a fire district in “no man’s land” can be double the cost if the residence is not in a fire district.
The Buck Shoals Fire Department, which covers portions of southeastern Wilkes and western Yadkin counties, brought portions of the Buck Shoals District left in “no man’s land” by the remapping back into the district by building a substation on Somers School Road.
This brought property along Ingle Hollow Road, Deliverance Baptist Church Drive and elsewhere back into the Buck Shoals Fire District.
The county commissioners also approved a fire service contract with Buck Shoals.
The Traphill Fire Department added property in the Greenstreet Mountain subdivision to the Traphill Fire District by building a substation on Viewpoint Drive in the Greenstreet Mountain development.
Representatives of the Champion, Buck Shoals and Traphill fire departments attended the meeting Tuesday night.