Sparks fly over fire equipment; mayoral candidates square off - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Sparks fly over fire equipment; mayoral candidates square off

BOILING SPRING LAKES, NC (WECT) – Some folks are hot and bothered after a special meeting in Boiling Spring Lakes, where the fire department was the issue.

Commissioner Charlie Carroll called a special meeting on Wednesday morning to discuss rescinding a donation to the city's volunteer fire department for a camera.

It all started last week, when council voted to give $5,500 to the department for the purchase of a thermal imaging camera, a piece of equipment they can use to save lives.

However, Charlie Carroll is questioning that decision because he received an email stating that BSL Fire Chief Chris Grace did not tell the board that the ladies auxiliary department donated $4,000 for the purchase of a camera.

Carroll says the fire chief lied about the additional donation. However, Chief Grace says that donation was for a different camera.

"I wasn't hiding anything," said Grace. "I didn't see the need to tell them about a donation."

"I feel like the citizens were lied to by leaving out pertinent information," said Carroll.

The debate even caused a divide among board members. Commissioner Craig Caster said he didn't think the meeting should have been held in the first place.

"I felt like it should have been handled in house," said Caster.

In the end, a divided board voted 3-2 against taking the money back.

Chief Grace says he hopes to order two new cameras by the end of the month.

Ironically, the two most vocal councilors at the special meeting will be facing off later this fall.

The current Mayor of Boiling Spring Lakes, Richard White, announced he's not seeking re-election last month – opening the door for someone new in that position.

Last week, Charlie Carroll announced his plan to run for Mayor of Boiling Spring Lakes.

On Wednesday, Craig Caster said that he plans to file for office soon.

Both have worked alongside each other for years, but this race could get pretty heated because both candidates say they are the right person for the job.

"Running against Carroll, if I didn't think I could do a better job, I wouldn't be running to start with," said Caster.

"If Craig is running, I welcome that challenge," said Carroll. "The citizens will have two clearly different candidates with opposing ideas and they can make a decision for themselves."

Election Day is Nov. 5.

Copyright 2013 WECT. All rights reserved.

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