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Gray Fire Department looks to spend SPLOST funds wisely

Jones County voters passed another SPLOST Tuesday, and the Gray Fire Department wants to take advantage.
GRAY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - "Now we know it's passed," said Gray Mayor Stephen Tingen.

The SPLOST funds are ready to roll.

"There's no guesswork," he continued. "We know it's passed. We've got some funds available to do some great things with."

Tingen doubles as Gray's mayor and a volunteer firefighter.

He's happy Jones County voters passed the SPLOST--or what's otherwise known as the penny tax vote.

"It's our duty to sit back and look and see how much money we've got, and where is best to spend it," said Tingen. "Giving those safety necessities to our firefighters is a big deal."

Tingen says better equipment and training improves how the station serves Gray. 

But Fire Chief Max Woods wants to spend the funds wisely. 

He brought in consultant Don Freyer to show them how to do it best.

"It helps ensure that the investment the community makes in the Fire Department--they're getting the best return on that to make Gray a better place," said Woods.

Freyer's goal is to help fire fighters respond to fires more quickly, which will not only save more lives, but save taxpayers' money.

"The number that the ISO people issue is what the insurers use as the number for their premium charge for your fire insurance," said Freyer. "It's kind of like golf, the lower the number, the better it is."

A low ISO rating for Gray FD could mean lower fire insurance premiums for citizens of Gray.

"Now, it's important for us to look at what we got, and make sure we're applying the funds in the best way we can," said Tingen.

Mayor Tingen says possible equipment upgrades include adding a smaller water pump to a pickup truck.

Woods would drive and be able to get to fires more quickly and begin dousing them.
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