Buying a home is one of the most significant investments that you will ever make. Like most good things, finding the perfect home comes with a lot of work. From your initial search online to your home tour and finally closing, there are many difficult decisions to make along the way. The bottom line is that the entire home buying process can be very stressful, especially when it comes to finding the right mortgage broker and loan for your new home. Since market conditions and mortgage programs change frequently, you have a lot riding on your broker's ability to provide quick and accurate financial advice. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or own several residential properties, you need a mortgage broker in Roebuck, SC, who can educate you on mortgage rates and provide trustworthy guidance to help you make an informed decision.
My name is Dan Crance - Roebuck's most trusted mortgage loan officer with more than 30 years in the mortgage industry. I bring unparalleled insight and decades of experience into your home loan process. If you're looking for a new home loan, are interested in refinancing your current mortgage, or need information regarding FHA, VA, or other types of loans, Dan Crance is Your Mortgage Man.
Unlike some mortgage loan officers in Roebuck, my primary goal is to help you make the right mortgage choice for you and your family. Mortgage lenders have a horrible reputation for turning over clients quickly to expedite cash flow and make the most money possible. While some mortgage brokers come off as pushy and impatient, I encourage my clients to take as much time as they need to ask questions and review their mortgage agreements. I'm here to help answer those questions and provide you with easy-to-understand advice so that you can rest easy knowing you made the right choice. I could say that I strive to provide service that exceeds your expectations, but I'd rather show you. In the end, I want you to leave feeling confident in the loan you've selected, as well as in your choice of broker.
Clients choose my mortgage company because I truly care about helping them navigate the often-confusing landscape of the mortgage process. I am fiercely dedicated to my clients and make every effort to provide them with trustworthy advice and an open line of communication.
In my business, I work for two different customers. On one hand, I have the buyer: the person entrusting me with the responsibility of guiding them through one of the most important decisions ever. Serving homebuyers is not a task that I take lightly. I work with them daily to help them through the process and provide timely updates and news on their mortgage status. On the other hand, I have the realtor: the person who works with my client to find their dream home. Since their commission is in my hands, working with realtors is also a very important task. I update these agents on the status of their customers weekly. Only when I take care of both parties can I say my job as a mortgage loan officer is complete.
As a mortgage broker with more than 30 years of experience, I pledge to give you the highest level of customer service while providing you with the most competitive loan products available. That way, you can buy the home of your dreams without second-guessing your decision.
At Classic Home Mortgage, our team works diligently to close on time without stress or hassle. Whether you're a seasoned homeowner or are buying your new home in Roebuck, we understand how much stress is involved. Our goal is to help take that stress off of your plate by walking you through every step of the home loan process. Because every one of our clients is different, we examine each loan with fresh eyes and a personalized approach, to find you the options and programs you need.
With over 30 years as a mortgage professional in Roebuck, Dan Crance will help you choose the home loan, interest rate, term options, and payment plans that fit your unique situation.
30-Year Loan - This loan is often considered the most secure option to choose. With a 30-year loan, you can lock in a low payment amount and rest easy knowing your rate won't change.
FHA Loan - If you're not able to make a large down payment, an FHA loan could be the right choice for you. With an FHA loan, many of our clients have successfully purchased a home with less than 4% down.
VA Loan - This loan is reserved for military veterans and active-duty men and women. Those who qualify may be able to purchase a home with no down payment and no Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI).
Because home mortgage rates in the U.S. have been so low over the last year, many current homeowners are opting to refinance their home loans. Simply put, refinancing is replacing your existing mortgage with a different mortgage under new terms. Homeowners who refinance their homes enjoy lower interest rates, lower monthly payments, and even turn their home's equity into cash. If you're interested in refinancing your home, it all begins with a call to your mortgage broker in Roebuck, SC - Dan Crance.
Refinancing from a 30-year to a 15-year mortgage might seem counterproductive on the surface because your monthly payment usually goes up. However, interest rates on 15-year mortgages are lower. And when you shave off years of your previous mortgage, you will pay less interest over time. These savings can be very beneficial if you are not taking the mortgage interest deduction on your tax returns.
FHA loans are notorious for paying premiums for the life of the loan. Mortgage insurance premiums for FHA loans can cost borrowers as much as $1,050 a year for every $100k borrowed. The only way to get rid of mortgage insurance premiums is to refinance to a new loan that the Federal Housing Authority does not back.
Sometimes, borrowers with adjustable-rate mortgages refinance so they can switch to a fixed rate, which lets them lock in an interest rate. Doing so is beneficial for some homeowners who like to know exactly how much their monthly payment is each month. Conversely, some homeowners with fixed rates prefer to refinance to an adjustable-rate mortgage. Homeowners often go this route if they plan on selling in a few years and don't mind risking a higher rate if their plans fall through.
Finding the right loan can be a difficult proposition, even if you have been through the process before. This is especially true since mortgage rates and market conditions change frequently. If you're like most of my clients, you probably have questions about interest rates, refinancing options, and a litany of other topics. To help alleviate some of your stress, here are just a few common questions with answers so that you can better educate yourself as we work our way to securing your loan.
Rudy Blanton’s knees cramped up while he was working under a deck one day, so he asked his grandson to hand him a “hickey and two screws.”“That sounds like a country song,&rd...
Rudy Blanton’s knees cramped up while he was working under a deck one day, so he asked his grandson to hand him a “hickey and two screws.”
“That sounds like a country song,” the grandson said as they laughed and laughed.
Then it was.
That grandson is 16-year-old Caleb Kennedy from the tiny Upstate South Carolina community of Roebuck.
He’s a top 12 finalist on the iconic television show “American Idol,” where judges have heaped praise on Kennedy, not only for his singing but also for his songwriting.
He performed his original song “Nowhere” on a recent show, and country star and “Idol” judge Luke Bryan thought it was so good he wondered who helped him write it.
No one, Kennedy responded.
“The talent is there,” Blanton said of his grandson. “It’s part of God’s plan.”
Roebuck isn’t a town per se, but a census tract, located just south of Spartanburg. There’s no downtown, but a line of fix-it shops, strip malls and a bank along state Highway 221. The crush of apartment complexes and subdivisions seen near Spartanburg and neighboring Greenville have not reached Roebuck. It’s a place of brick ranch homes and pine and hardwood forests and a population of about 2,300.
Cindy White, who lives next door to Kennedy and his mother, Anita Guy, said Roebuck is the kind of place where everybody either knows everybody or knows someone who does.
“We just got an Arby’s and Zaxby’s, but we need a McDonald’s and a Chick-fil-A,” she said.
People move to Roebuck and stay, she said.
“Godly people,” White said.
She’s known Kennedy since he was born.
“We’re all so proud of him,” she said.
Her daughter, Erica Thompson, who was just stopping by her mother’s Thursday morning, said, “He’s ours.”
They remember hearing him play the trumpet when he was in middle school band, but hearing him sing and play the guitar was even more enjoyable.
When Kennedy was making an audition tape for “American Idol,” White and her grandchildren listened from her bathroom window.
Kennedy’s grandmother Barbara Blanton or Nana to him said he bought his first guitar with money he got from family members on his 13th birthday. He used his cellphone to learn chords.
“Papa” Rudy Blanton said they took Kennedy for guitar lessons, and the teacher said he knew more than they did.
His talent ran so deep he could hear a song and play it. Then he started hearing his own songs. One he wrote was called “That’s My Papa.” It’s a tribute to Blanton and includes the hickey line. After Kennedy’s parents divorced, Blanton became a major figure in the young man’s life.
Blanton, a carpenter, said he’d take his grandson with him to jobs, and Kennedy spent time with him and Barbara after school while his mother, who works two jobs, worked.
For a time, Kennedy wanted to be a carpenter, too.
“Then the guitar struck,” Blanton said.
“My little ole buddy standing up on that stage is a wonderful thing,” he said. “It’s an amazing story.”
Hannah Bynum’s favorite memory of her brother is the almost daily rides through the South Carolina countryside after school in her Chevy Equinox listening to country music on Spotify.
“We’d roll all the windows down and escape from everything,” said Bynum.
Hannah and the little brother she calls Bubba especially liked Jason Aldean. And so it was a particular thrill when Kennedy was paired with Aldean for some coaching and a duet of “Fly Over States” on “American Idol.”
“That couldn’t have worked out any better for him,” she said.
Afterwards her brother called and asked if she would be ready for a phone call in 20 minutes. The producers wanted to tape him talking to her. The phone rang. She answered.
It was Aldean.
“I’m just out here in Hollywood hanging out with your brother,” she remembers him saying.
“I didn’t know what to say,” Bynum said. “It was just crazy.”
The siblings also spent hours at Guitar Center in Spartanburg, where Kennedy would pull guitar after guitar from the wall and play.
“He does stuff like that, like nobody’s watching. I knew this was going to get big,” said Bynum, who is married and lives in Savannah.
Drew Spencer, who runs the house band at FR8yard in Spartanburg, where Kennedy played just about every open mic night for the past few years, said he started attracting an audience immediately.
Kennedy would have an original song to perform about every week, Spencer said.
Once, he saw Kennedy write a song while waiting to perform, then get up and sing it.
“From day one, I could hear his songs on modern country radio stations,” said Spencer, who will soon be touring as the lead electric guitar player for the band Blackfoot.
Spencer said Kennedy’s songs have a depth to them way beyond what anyone could imagine a teenager could write.
“The melody, chord progression, structure,” he said. “I think the kid was just born with it.”
Spencer and others said they see the deep connection between Kennedy and his mother, who arranged all his gigs.
One show featured a conversation between him, his mother and stepfather. He ended by saying, “I love you.”
Thomas Thornton, the children’s minister at Woodruff Church of God, where Kennedy and his family are members, said he has known Kennedy since he was a small child. In fact, he and his wife looked after the boy while his mother worked.
“He has a very giving heart,” Thornton said. “He’s always been very plugged into church.”
Kennedy steps up where needed, whether it’s a role in a Christmas play or planting blueberry bushes for older church members.
Once, he was shy.
“He’s broken out of his shell,” Thornton said, noting the ease with which Kennedy has performed on national television.
He said he’s proud of the way Caleb has overcome obstacles and followed his dreams.
“It’s only going to get better,” Thornton said.
Kennedy attends Dorman High School, which has a student population bigger than all of Roebuck.
The school has gone all out in supporting and encouraging his “Idol” run, making a video, posters, writing him letters. There’s a “vote for Caleb” sign — contestants earn the right to stay on the show by viewers’ calls — at every entrance.
“People keep taking them,” said principal Bryant Roberson, laughing. But school officials just add another.
Robeson described Kennedy as a “down-to-earth kid.”
“You couldn’t ask for a better student,” he said.
Last year, as a freshman, Kennedy played junior varsity football.
Certainly in the Upstate if not the entire state, Dorman is known for its football prowess, with more than a few players going on to the NFL.
Daniel Wyatt, one of the football coaches, said during summer drills Kennedy, an offensive lineman, was grouped with wide receivers and defensive backs due to COVID-19 restrictions.
They all did the same drills whether they pertained to their positions or not.
“Caleb put forth great effort. He did all the things we asked,” Wyatt said.
By the end, the coaches were impressed and just knew he was going to be one of their better players.
Then came “American Idol.”
Kennedy told them he was going to have to give up football, Wyatt said, describing it as a “very good decision.”
“He needs to chase his dream,” Wyatt said.
American Idol airs at 8 p.m. Sunday and Monday on ABC.
This story was originally published April 18, 2021, 6:00 AM.
In 1908, in the midst of the mail-order catalog era, Sears, Roebuck and Company issued the first Book of Modern Homes and Building Plans in an effort to increase its sales of building materials. The first catalog listed 44 different styles of homes that ranged in sizes, options and costs that readers could purchase. By 1916, these catalog homes came with every material that was needed to build the house, ...
In 1908, in the midst of the mail-order catalog era, Sears, Roebuck and Company issued the first Book of Modern Homes and Building Plans in an effort to increase its sales of building materials. The first catalog listed 44 different styles of homes that ranged in sizes, options and costs that readers could purchase. By 1916, these catalog homes came with every material that was needed to build the house, all the way down to pre-cut lumber, windows + paint, and a set of instructions. (Think: IKEA furniture on steroids.)
Once a family chose the style home they wanted, all they had to do was mail a check to Sears and Roebuck – which even had financing options available – and a few weeks later, all of the parts would arrive by train.
While Sears Modern Homes were very affordable, they weren’t cheaply constructed. According to Popular Mechanic, the homes came with high-end materials (often including oak floors + cypress ceilings). Because the company ordered the building materials it would ship out in such high volume, it was able to keep prices low for consumers. In 1918, popular models ranged in price from $3,600-4,600 (that’d be approx. $61,000-78,500 today), according to Forbes. Additionally, the financing application didn’t ask demographic questions (ethnicity, gender, etc.), which gave home ownership options to those who faced discrimination locally.
While Sears advertised that the mail-order homes could be built in only 90 days with just basic skills, most families hired builders to get the job done.
The last catalogs were sent in 1940 + in these 32 years, some 75,000 Sears and Roebuck kit homes were purchased and built – predominantly through the Midwest and Northeast US.
Though the Sears catalog homes weren’t as common throughout the South, they can still be found sparsely scattered throughout southern cities. According to Historic Columbia, there’s at least one Sears Modern Home that we’re aware of in downtown Columbia, at 1716 Wayne St. in the Arsenal Hill neighborhood. The house was built for $5,000 in 1914 – equivalent to approx. $128,900 today – by Francis Butler, an Atlantic Coastline Railway postal clerk, and his family.
Identifying a Sears Modern Home can be difficult, especially since the company lost the majority of its records on the homes. However, there are a few tricks to identify one – including stamped lumber, shipping labels + unique column arrangements.
Do you live in a Sears catalog home (or think that you do)? Or do you know of any local Sears homes? Send us an email with your pictures and stories + we’ll work on an update with what we receive.Wishing you could travel back in time and purchase one of these homes? (Me too.) Until that’s possible, check out this Sears Modern Homes catalog from 1936.
Wishing you could travel back in time and purchase one of these homes? (Me too.) Until that’s possible, check out this Sears Modern Homes catalog from 1936.
Caleb Kennedy has taken his gravelly, gritty voice to California to perform in front of Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie for a chance at fame.The audition for "American Idol" celebrity judges is set to air at 8 p.m. Sunday, but the long-standing talent show gave a sneak peak at his audition on YouTube early Thursday morning.The ABC competition series kicked off its new series on Feb. 14 with Ryan Seacrest returning as the host. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the tryout process was adjusted to ...
Caleb Kennedy has taken his gravelly, gritty voice to California to perform in front of Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie for a chance at fame.
The audition for "American Idol" celebrity judges is set to air at 8 p.m. Sunday, but the long-standing talent show gave a sneak peak at his audition on YouTube early Thursday morning.
The ABC competition series kicked off its new series on Feb. 14 with Ryan Seacrest returning as the host. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the tryout process was adjusted to include open-call virtual auditions.
Here is a little bit behind the 16-year-old Roebuck, South Carolina, that "wowed" artist who have heard a lot of singers over the years.
The journey to auditions: Caleb Kennedy talks about his audition for "American Idol"
Caleb picked up his first guitar just three years ago.
In that time he has penned more than 120 songs and even performed his unfinished tune, "Nowhere," for the trio of judges.
"You better finish that song 'Nowhere,' because it is going to take you somewhere," Perry said.
He is influenced by the country music artist that came before him.
Caleb's mother, Anita, plays a large role in his music, he said during his audition.
Anita helps him in everything from everyday encouragement to booking his gigs at local venues.
"It would be kind of sketchy for a 16-year-old to come ask to play at the bar," he said in the audition.
He regularly plays at Wings Etc. with a band comprised of his friends Jonathan Osborne (drums), Jonathan Niday (guitar) and Clay Williamson (bass guitar) pin Boiling Springs most weekends, playing classic country songs as well as Caleb’s original songs like crowd favorite “That’s My Papa.”
Another performer:Easley native wins praise from "American Idol" judges
Caleb has started to put Roebuck on the map as well. The YouTube video of his audition brought in almost 9,000 views in just a few short hours.
He is a student at Dorman High School and takes carpentry classes at R. D. Anderson Applied Technology Center in Moore, S.C.
The teen is also one of more than 2,200 people who reside in Roebuck, S.C., according to the 2010 Census. The town is named after Revolutionary War Officer Benjamin Roebuck.
The community is also home to Walnut Grove Plantation, an 18th-century manor house that is now a historic marker.
Even though part of Caleb's audition came out on YouTube Thursday, his regular gig spot is throwing a bash for him.
Wings Etc., located at 2644 Boiling Springs Road in Boiling Spings, S.C., will have a watch party that kicks off at 6 p.m. Sunday with a live performance by Caleb before the airing of his audition at 8 p.m.
The No. 1 prospect in South Carolina, four-star power forward P.J. Hall of Spartanburg (S.C.) Dorman, will announce a decision between Clemson and Virginia Tech on ThursdayThe No. 1 prospect in South Carolina, four-star power forward P.J. Hall of Roebuck (S.C.) Dorman, will announce a decision between Clemson and Virginia Tech on Thursday at 3:45 p.m. during a ceremony at his school.Clemson247 caught up with Hall on Monday to pr...
The No. 1 prospect in South Carolina, four-star power forward P.J. Hall of Roebuck (S.C.) Dorman, will announce a decision between Clemson and Virginia Tech on Thursday at 3:45 p.m. during a ceremony at his school.
Clemson247 caught up with Hall on Monday to preview his decision. Hall said on Sunday that he decided upon Thursday's decision date.
He took recent official visits to Clemson, Florida, and Virginia Tech before cancelling scheduled officials to Georiga Tech and Tennessee.
"I cancelled Georiga Tech after they got hit with sanctions, and then with Tennessee I was getting a really good feeling with Clemson and Virginia Tech and didn't want to waste their time," Hall said.
Hall's sister is a volleyball player at Florida. But the Gators as a contender faded down the stretch.
"Honestly throughout the whole process I thought (Florida) would be one of my top teams in the end, but I went down there and expected to fall in love with the place but it never clicked," Hall said.
Hall broke down his final two of the Tigers and Hokies:
Virginia Tech: "It's all about relationships with them. I've known coach (Mike) Young since I was young and coach (Chester) Frazier has recruited me for the past two years at different schools. It's ACC basketball. I know I could go there and be successful."
Clemson: "Same thing, ACC basketball. They've recruited me hard, if not the hardest of anyone. I know that I can go there and be successful with the plan they have for me. It's in-state and not too far from home."
Hall cited assistant Clemson coaches Dick Bender and Anthony Goins as coaches that've impacted his recruitment from a Clemson standpoint.
Hall said he plans to formerly verbalize his decision with both coaching staffs prior to his public announcement.
"I have a pretty good feeling where I'm going," Hall said. "Just going to sit down with my family another time about it."
Hall is ranked as the No. 9 power forward and No. 61 prospect in the 2020 class per the 247Sports Composite.
Ross Martin4 hrs
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney met with the media on Sunday following the win over Syracuse. Below are notes from Swinney's opening statement and a Q&A session with reporters.
- Proud of 6th-year players Justin Mascoll and XT setting the tone for the game with the turnovers
- Good to see the team respond from adversity late in the game
- Held Syracuse to 281 yards and 2.9 yards per carry
- Held Garrett Shrader to 1.6 yards a carry - something Swinney was worried about heading into the game
- Disrupted and dominated the line of scrimmage
- Proud of how Cade played - I thought he was outstanding. Huge plays. Great scrambles
- Played good complementary football
- A lot of things to clean up - Negative plays, sacks, penalties
- Solid day on special teams, punt team has been really good for us
- Injury wise - came through in good shape
- Hopefully get wide receivers Nate Wiggins and Antonio Williams back soon - going to work them out extensively tomorrow (Did not specify on a timeline)
On the guard positions (rotating at right guard and left guard):
- The guys who came in played pretty good
- Mitchell Mayes had his worst game, got caught on some spin moves, got himself in trouble, not playing with his hands. He is much better than the
- Mayes gave up two sacks
- He’ll improve and get back on track this week
- I thought Trent played well, I thought Harris Sewell played well.
- Good to get those guys in early
- Trent has some length and is a good athlete
- They are super excited about Sewell
- Very happy with the tackles, continue to compete and be consistent
Evaluation of WR Adam Randall so far in 2023:
- Inconsistent would be the biggest thing for me right now
- He hasn’t gotten the opportunities so far
- Just need more consistency
On Tink Kelley:
- We have a couple more games that we can use him, but we needed him this week for sure
- He has two more games he can play in 2023 and still redshirt
On Beaux Collins’ play:
- Playing great, he is a handful
- Huge third-down catch
- Drew a couple of PIs
- The double-move touchdown was an “elite, elite route” by Beaux
- Great to see the offense execute
- Swinney called Syracuse defense very jumpy and they took advantage
On freshman WR Tyler Brown:
- Very mature kid
- He’s got a level of maturity you just don’t see in freshmen
- One of the more mature freshmen that we’ve had
- Never know how the talent will translate to film room, field
- We saw it in camp
- He has elite ball skills, we knew he could really, really run
- Not tall, but plays very long, great contact balance and collusion balance, great feel for the game with the ball in his hand
- Been fun to watch him blossom
We think Cole Turner is going to be a star:
- Very high on the wide receiver room
- They want to redshirt freshman WR Noble Johnson
How to take defense to the next level:
- Red zone defense, limit touchdowns, force field goal attempts
- Defending wheel route
- Situation awareness
- Clean up tackling
- Busts in red area
How do you improve tackling in season, game to game?
- Drill work, taking technique to game day
- Wrapping up.
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Two fire departments with a long history of working together are planning to merge and become the second consolidation in Spartanburg County since 2018.Spartanburg County Council on Monday, Sept. 20, will consider the first reading of the planned merger between Roebuck and Croft fire departments, and the borrowing of $5 million by the Roebuck Fire District to assist in the merger.If approved after three readings, the legal name will be Roebuck Fire District, doing business as South Spartanburg Fire District. Admi...
Two fire departments with a long history of working together are planning to merge and become the second consolidation in Spartanburg County since 2018.
Spartanburg County Council on Monday, Sept. 20, will consider the first reading of the planned merger between Roebuck and Croft fire departments, and the borrowing of $5 million by the Roebuck Fire District to assist in the merger.
If approved after three readings, the legal name will be Roebuck Fire District, doing business as South Spartanburg Fire District. Administrative offices will be at the Roebuck fire station on Southport Road. The combined districts will cover 44 square miles.
The new department would become the first since Trinity Fire Department in southern Spartanburg County was formed in 2018 as a merger between Enoree, Hobbysville and Cross Anchor, with Woodruff joining the following year.
The Spartanburg County Legislative Delegation already gave its approval of the planned Roebuck-Croft merger. All that's left is county council approval.
Croft was formed in 1956 and declared a special purpose district by the state legislature in 1960. Roebuck was formed in 1957 and declared a special purpose district by the legislature in 1958.
"We just felt it was time to do it," said Roebuck Fire Chief Brian Harvey. "It will streamline our purchasing and give us a lot more staffing options. We will use the same equipment."
Harvey and Croft Fire Chief Ryan Eubanks will be co-chiefs of the new department.
Both said the merger has been in the discussion stages for years, and that their firefighters, as well as others in the county, support it.
"After gathering input, it became apparent that this was the way to go," said Eubanks, who succeeded the recently retired Lewis Hayes. "We've streamlined, moved resources around, shared staffing and equipment, eliminated redundancies, and there's more of that to come."
The merger will bring about a new fire tax rate. Roebuck's is now 29 mills, and Croft's is 32.9 mills – 27.5 for operations and 5.4 mills for debt service.
The new rate will likely be 31.5 mills – 29 for operations and 2.5 for debt, according to Eubanks.
"For the Croft taxpayer, it will be about the same, and a little increase for Roebuck," he said.
The taxpayer pays $8 per mill for each $100,000 of assessed property value, he said. So a 2.5-mill increase on a $200,000 property will cost a taxpayer $40 more a year.
"We don't want to increase taxes," he said. "But we also have to recognize it takes dollars to run our service. We're going to be prudent about that number."
A couple years ago, Croft District borrowed $2 million to buy two new fire trucks, resulting in the 5.4-mill debt service tax.
"For taxpayers, we've been operating like one department," Eubanks said. "They will never see anything change. They will be getting the same fire protection."
Roebuck Station 1 on Stone Station Road houses two engines, a tanker, a rescue, brush unit and command vehicle. Station 2 on Southport Road is manned with Croft and houses an engine.
The Croft station is on Cedar Springs Road and houses six pumpers and two ladder trucks.
The Roebuck Station 2 on Southport Road has been jointly operated by Roebuck and Croft since 2011 when the former Arkwright fire district was consolidated into Roebuck and Croft. That station has a battalion chief and three firefighters.
Roebuck has 13 paid firefighters, 15 volunteers and provides 24/7 service. Croft has 13 paid firefighters and one volunteer, also providing 24/7 service.
Between the two stations, the departments respond to more than 2,000 calls a year – many for vehicle crashes and assist calls from neighboring districts.
Both departments have operated jointly since 2011, when the former Arkwright Area Fire District disbanded and Roebuck and Croft absorbed the Arkwright coverage area.
For several years, fire chiefs in many of the 35 departments countywide have complained about a lack of finances and dwindling volunteer manpower to keep up with the demands brought by growth in Spartanburg County.
Some have been able to increase their millage rates, but to do so requires a voter referendum. In many cases, voters reject the referendum.
In August 2020, voters in the Cherokee Springs Fire District rejected a referendum asking them to approve borrowing $5.5 million for a new, larger fire station. The vote was 77% against and 23% for. If approved, the tax rate would have gone up by 10 mills.
Last year, a consulting firm presented a study to the county's Fire Prevention and Protection Advisory Committee recommending merging or consolidating fire departments as a way to streamline costs.
Chris Massey, who is director of the Emergency Services Academy in Duncan, is filling in with his second stint as chief of the Trinity Fire Department while the county searches for a full-time chief.
He said he's already seen the benefits of that merger of four departments in the southern end of the county, covering roughly 140 square miles.
"It's definitely improved response times," Massey said. "It's operating like a fire department, 24/7, with four full-time and an assistant chief part-time."
Harvey said his Roebuck district has seen a lot of growth with residential and some industrial development in recent years, which brings in more tax revenues, but it also brings higher call volume and stretches resources.
"Manpower in every fire district is the Achilles heal right now," he said.
Looking forward, Harvey and Eubanks said if they get county council approval, they hope the consolidation will take effect Jan. 1.
"I hope this mentality spreads across the county," Eubanks said. "You're going to be able to eliminate a lot of redundancies, (equipment) replacements – all at a benefit to the taxpayer. You need to take a wholesystems approach and stop looking at individual silos of our organizations, and look at a countywide picture."
Contact Bob Montgomery at firstname.lastname@example.org