Auto body shopin North Charleston, SC

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The Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration Difference

Auto Body Shop North Charleston, SC

One of the unfortunate realities about driving and owning cars in the Lowcountry is that you will probably have to deal with some form of body damage at some point. Whether your driver-side door gets dinged in a parking lot or you back into a light pole, accidents happen. The good news? Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration is here to help with all of your body shop needs.

Unlike many fly-by-night collision repair companies, our auto body shop in cityname, state has served hardworking people for years. We make it a point to only employ the most experienced, highly-trained auto body technicians available, so you have peace of mind that we'll get the job done right. In fact, our mechanics have more than 60 years of combined experience. There is no collision repair job that we haven't handled - from minor bumps and scratches to complex repairs stemming from multi-car accidents.

At Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration, we are committed to providing our customers with the highest-quality body shop services at the most reasonable prices in town. We believe that everyone deserves to have their car or truck repaired when they need it the most. After all, our vehicles are crucial to daily life. We need them to live, work and play. We use them for just about every activity we enjoy, from taking the kids to soccer practice to hitting the gym on a Saturday morning. That's why we work with just about every car insurance company out there to ensure that our loyal customers have access to the best collision repair in South Carolina.

Customers choose Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration because they know we strive to exceed their expectations. At the end of the day, we want to do right by our customers with reliable body shop services, high-quality repair work, and helpful customer service. But that's not all. Our clients enjoy peace of mind with their collision repairs because we:

auto body shop Services

SERVICE AREAS

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Provide Free Estimates: Drop by our shop or call our office to learn more about our free estimates. Once we understand the scope of your restoration needs, our team will get to work.

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Offer 100% Guarantee: We have become a staple in our community because we guarantee our work 100%. If we missed the mark, made a mistake, or you're unhappy with our service, let us know. We'll make it right.

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Specialize in Full-Service Repairs: Our collision mechanics make repairs on all vehicle makes and models, so you don't have to worry about whether we can service your car. As a full-service collision repair company in South Carolina, we help every step of the way, from the moment we meet until you leave our parking lot.

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Love to Paint: Yes, you read that right. At Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration, we have a team of incredibly talented car painters to supplement our collision services. We offer various auto painting services, from minor paint jobs to full-scale custom paint projects.

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Accept Car Insurance: As daily drivers and locals in South Carolina, we know that collision repairs can be pricey. Despite the cost, they are necessary for daily life. That's why we're happy to work with car insurance companies, so you can go where you need to go without stressing about safety.

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Work Hard for You: At Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration, we try to keep it simple. You can rest easy knowing that there's no fine print, sleazy sales tactics, or lazy mechanics to worry about. When you pull into our parking lot, know that we prioritize good old-fashioned hard work and reliable service. No if's, and's, or but's.

Your First Choice for Collision
Repair in North Charleston, SC

According to recent statistics from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, a new traffic accident happens every 3.7 minutes in South Carolina. That's a lot of car accidents in a short amount of time. Being involved in a car accident can be a traumatic experience, filled with complex insurance claims and complicated auto body repairs. At Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration, we know how stressful it can be to have your care restored to its pre-collision beauty. That's why we offer comprehensive, streamlined auto body services and unsurpassed car restoration quality.

With more than 60 years of combined body shop experience in South Carolina, our repair techs leave no stones unturned and never take shortcuts when repairing your vehicle. We're proud to say we only use the latest diagnostic techniques, equipment, and parts to get the job done right. That way, you can get back on the road quickly and safely.

Auto Body Shop North Charleston, SC

A few of our most common auto body shop services include but are not limited to:

Frame Repair in North Charleston

Studies show that about 50 percent of vehicles suffer some kind of frame damage in a car collision. Frame damage can occur easily, even in common situations involving minor fender benders. Often, frame damage is difficult to see and can go unnoticed by insurance adjusters. The unfortunate truth is that even minor frame damage can put you, your family, your friends, and your car at risk when driving. When it goes unnoticed, it can often spell disaster for everyday drivers who might think their car is fine to drive.

When your car's frame is bent, your alignment is usually off, too, causing you to swerve and veer while driving. At best, this scenario results in unnecessary wear on your tires and, at worst, results in a car wreck. The bottom line? You need to get your car's frame inspected by a team of professional collision repair experts, even if you've only been involved in a minor accident.

Auto Body Shop North Charleston, SC

At Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration, we take a comprehensive approach to frame repair and alignment. Our highly-trained frame repair technicians use a multi-point process to diagnose and correct your frame problems by:

  • Inspecting your car and its frame visually to discover any denting or bending.
  • Our alignment machine uses hydraulics and torque to strengthen your car's frame back to factory specs.
  • If our technicians spot damage, we'll begin the restoration process by placing your car on our frame alignment machine.
  • Once your frame is fixed, we'll answer any of your questions and will send you back on the road with a safe-to-drive vehicle.

Your First Choice for Collision Repair in North Charleston, SC

Chips and cracks are bad news for your car's windshield and don't just look bad - they can do serious damage when left unrepaired. Cracks and chips can quickly turn from a minor inconvenience to a safety hazard by impairing your vision. If your windshield crack is bad enough, you might even get pulled over by a police officer. Driving your vehicle with a large crack or even with an object embedded in it is a bad idea, but Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration is here to help.

Our windshield repair technicians have years of experience repairing car windows and windshields for many types of automobile glass, including side and rear windows. If you have been involved in a collision and need new glass, we can help facilitate that process and install a new windshield without you ever lifting a finger. New glass is usually needed with serious car wrecks, and it's always best to trust a professional auto body shop in cityname, state to get the job done. Our team uses the most modern glass and adhesives on the market, so you know your windshield and windows are high-quality and ready for the road.

Auto Body Shop North Charleston, SC

Whether you have a chipped windshield or need all-new glass for your car, we're here to serve you.
Out car windshield and glass repairs include:

Auto Body Shop North Charleston, SC

Door Glass

Auto Body Shop North Charleston, SC

Vent Glass

Auto Body Shop North Charleston, SC

Quarter Glass

Auto Body Shop North Charleston, SC

Back Glass

Auto Body Shop North Charleston, SC

Windshield Glass

Paintless Dent Removal in North Charleston

Any kind of item or stray piece of debris can dent your car. If you've been driving for at least a few years, chances are you've parked at a grocery store and, after shopping, returned to your car to see a big, unsightly dent. Whether they're due to inclement weather or rocks on the highway, dents cause noticeable damage that only gets worse with time. One of the most common dent repair solutions is paintless dent removal - a process that removes dents in your vehicle without removing any paint.

Paintless dent removal is great because it is not invasive and is a very efficient, cost-effective way to fix car dents before they get even worse. There are no fillers or sanding involved, making this option one of the quickest ways to remove dents. At Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration, our dent removal technicians use several tools to gently massage dents out of your car. When we're done, we'll smooth everything back into place, leaving your car looking like new.

To make matters even better, most paintless dent removal is supported by car insurance agencies, meaning you may not pay a cent out of pocket for our dent removal services.

Auto Body Shop North Charleston, SC

Classic Car Restoration
in North Charleston

At Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration, we are very passionate about classic car restoration and offer a wide range of restoration services in North Charleston. We understand that no two classic car restoration projects are the same, which is why we offer a wide variety of services. We're talking mechanical upgrades, partial restorations, and full car restoration projects. If you have a repair, upgrade, or restoration plan in mind, chances are we can help you achieve your goals.

After we perform an initial inspection and provide you with a detailed estimate on the scope of work needed to restore your car, our seasoned technicians will get to work on your project.

Auto Body Shop North Charleston, SC

Our full-scale classic car restoration process includes:

Auto Body Work Overhaul

Painting

Mechanical Repairs

Repair Interior

Custom Auto Body Painting in North Charleston

When was the last time you got compliments on your car's paint? If you loved your car's paint when it was brand new but hate what it looks like now, Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration can help you fall back in love with your vehicle. Whether your current paint job looks old and faded or you're craving a new color to show off, our paint technicians can deliver what you're looking for.

Between our advanced painting tools and uber-talented vehicle painting experts, our team can transform your car's aesthetic appeal, no matter the make and model. We can even fix dings and scratches in your paint while we're at it, so your car is shiny, smooth, and ready to turn heads.

We offer various auto painting services, from minor paint jobs to full-scale custom projects. We're happy to work with budgets of all sizes and can accommodate all of your painting needs, whether you want to paint a daily driver or a show car.

We recommend you call our office today, so we can get to know you a little better and understand what kind of paint job your car needs. We're happy to chat about cars and your paint job, even if you're just inquiring. After all, we're more than the best body shop in North Charleston - we're enthusiasts, too.

Auto Body Shop North Charleston, SC

Your First Choice for Collison
Repair in North Charleston, SC

If you're on the hunt for the highest-quality auto body repair services in South Carolina, backed by decades of experience, look no further than Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration. We put our customer's needs first and strive to exceed expectations with every service we offer - all at a price you can afford. Swing by our body shop or contact our office today to discover why we're the Lowcountry's first choice in collision repair.

Troop-Films-LLC-phone-number(843) 996-4995

Free Estimates

Latest News in North Charleston, SC

New restaurant coming to downtown Charleston; 2 new eateries open in North Charleston

A new restaurant is in the works for downtown Charleston while two other dining venues are opening this week in North Charleston.On the Charleston peninsula, David Schuttenberg and Tina Heath-Schuttenberg, the owners of Chinese diner Kwei Fei on James Island, plan to open a new culinary concept at 128 Columbus St.The couple leased 3,063 square feet on the ground floor of the development that houses The Guild Apartments and the headquarters of multifamily giant ...

A new restaurant is in the works for downtown Charleston while two other dining venues are opening this week in North Charleston.

On the Charleston peninsula, David Schuttenberg and Tina Heath-Schuttenberg, the owners of Chinese diner Kwei Fei on James Island, plan to open a new culinary concept at 128 Columbus St.

The couple leased 3,063 square feet on the ground floor of the development that houses The Guild Apartments and the headquarters of multifamily giant Greystar Real Estate Partners, according to Mandy Coleman with National Restaurant Properties, who represented the tenant, Cantonese on Columbus LLC.

Coleman said the concept will be different from the James Island operation at 1977 Maybank Highway. A restaurant representative said more details on the new venture will be announced soon.

Nick Maylander with real estate firm Charleston Commercial represented the landlord, GS Office Owner LLC.

What’s cooking?

In North Charleston, a new donut shop will debut June 23.

Dunkin’ will open at 5 a.m. at 7818 Rivers Ave. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is set for 7:30 a.m.

The first 50 people in line for the lobby on opening day will receive a booklet with 56 coupons, offering free coffee over the next 12 months.

The sweet treat venue includes a drive-thru window and features an area for mobile pickups for those who order ahead on the app. The store is designed to be 25 percent more energy efficient than standard Dunkin’ locations.

The Dunkin’ mascot and swag giveaways also will be part of the opening-day ceremony.

The restaurant will be open from 5 a.m.-8 p.m. weekdays and 6 a.m.-8 p.m. weekends. The dining room will close at 7 p.m. each day.

Also in North Charleston, a new restaurant near Park Circle is now serving breakfast and lunch and will offer alcoholic beverages soon.

Bar on the Avenue opened June 21 at 4634 Spruill Ave. It’s next to Jackrabbit Filly restaurant.

In addition to breakfast staples, it offers chicken and waffles as well as burgers, fries, wings, grilled chicken, salads and other items. It’s open 6:30 a.m.-6 p.m.

The dining spot also recently applied for its license to sell beer, wine and liquor. Owner Anton Jones hopes to have bar options available in July, when the restaurant will open an outdoor patio as well.

Now serving

A new craft beer tavern is now open on James Island, and a new coffee shop is set to open beside it.

Odyssey Bottle Shop opened June 17 in the Harris Teeter-anchored Harbor View Shopping Center on Harbor View Road.

It will rotate 12-15 local craft beers on tap for on- and off-site use and offer local packaged foods at 987 Harbor View Road, according to Edward Kronsberg, who works with the landlord. Russell and Katherine Dodson are the bottle shop owners.

Next door will be Highfalutin Coffee Roasters, owned by Adam & Shaina Hunt. It will offer fresh-roasted java on site. It’s a second location for the duo. They also operate a coffee shop of the same name at 27 Magnolia Road in Avondale in West Ashley.

Adam Hunt said the coffee shop is awaiting final city inspections, so an opening could occur within the week or a few weeks.

Lighting up

A new cigar shop is coming to Mount Pleasant.

Dan and Beth Greenwald plan to open Cigars on 17 in about six to eight weeks at 920 Houston Northcutt Blvd. in Village Pointe Shopping Center.

The 1,200-square-foot location will feature a large walk-in humidor and offer a selection of premium hand-rolled cigars, quality pipes and accessories as well as a lounge.

It’s a sister store to Cigars on Maybank on Johns Island, which opened in April 2021.

Pet project

A Summerville couple recently launched a mobile dog training business.

Valerie de Armas and Steve Thompson started Dog Training Elite, a franchise operation for the Salt Lake City-based company. Services are available 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Getting pampered

Woodhouse Southeast, with spa locations in Mount Pleasant and Charleston, recently added a new site near Nashville and will add another location in Savannah, early next year.

The Volunteer State addition is at 1175 Meridian Blvd. in Franklin, just south of the state capital. The coastal Georgia site will be within the Eastern Wharf Development at One Altamaha St.

Kimmy Powell owns Woodhouse Southeast. The company recently added Brandon Watts, formerly with Charleston Place Hotel’s health club and spa program, to oversee hospitality operations at all four locations.

Victim alleges years of harassment, by North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A longtime City of North Charleston employee is accusing North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey of inappropriate sexual advances both before and during her time working for the city.DeLisa Reynolds and Keith Summey have known each other for decades. In the late 1990’s DeLisa and her husband at the time, along with Keith, and his wife, Deb...

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A longtime City of North Charleston employee is accusing North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey of inappropriate sexual advances both before and during her time working for the city.

DeLisa Reynolds and Keith Summey have known each other for decades. In the late 1990’s DeLisa and her husband at the time, along with Keith, and his wife, Deborah, owned a post office together on E. Montague Avenue in North Charleston.

“So, the four of us renovated, we did work, we ran businesses, we opened a post office,” said Reynolds. “I took that service on.”

Being self-employed, Reynolds said she was concerned about her lack of health insurance. That’s when the Summeys offered her a part-time job working as a receptionist for the City of North Charleston in 2001.

At that time, Summey had been mayor for around seven years.

“I started about 21 years ago and have been there ever since,” said Reynolds.

Throughout her time working for the city, Reynolds moved up the ranks from a part-time receptionist to a secretary a year later, then to an administrative assistant in 2006, a special events coordinator in 2016, and earlier this year she became archives and history coordinator.

Reynolds says the sexual advances by Mayor Summey started before Reynolds began working at the city. She says they began at the post office the Reynolds and Summeys owned together.

“I was at the post office working and he came in. And I went into the closet and he followed me. and that’s where it all began. It was groping. and kissing me,” said Reynolds.

She approximates the time frame of that was in the summer of 1999.

“How many times? I can’t tell you…I can’t tell you that. I don’t….it was so many.”

She said things progressed over the following years and never completely stopped and Summey would still make comments.

“Up until November, this past November it was ‘Hey, let me get a kiss.'”

Reynolds says she was never comfortable reporting the alleged harassment out of fear of retaliation.

“No. I didn’t have anyone to report that to. At that time it was a man’s world. HR was a man director that was very close with the people in the executive department. So I didn’t think I was safe enough to say that or would I lose my job for saying that to HR? I didn’t want my family to know what was going on. I didn’t want my children to know, my husband. So, I just kept it.”

Reynolds considered leaving her job but was concerned about finding the same amount of money and a job she liked as much as her city job.

Reynolds says she started noticing what she describes as an “abuse of power” by Mayor Summey and other executive staffers at the city.

“I don’t know that I’ve ever really noticed so much of it until it actually happened to me directly,” said Reynolds. “Because I was dedicated to the city and the mayor. My goal always was to make sure my job reflected on him as me doing a good job for the city. It was to make him and the city look good.”

During her time working in the executive department, Reynolds says things would stick out to her.

“You notice promotions and things going on and people that were getting more than what others weren’t getting for doing double the work. Other people were coming in because they were friends or whatever. Granted, I was a friend of the mayor as well and the family. So I felt ‘well, they’re protecting me by offering me a position.'”

She says she really started to notice the “abuse of power” when she saw other women becoming involved.

“Just by the way they would disappear together,” said Reynolds. “But I didn’t give it a whole lot of thought.”

Reynolds’ job was switched and she began working at Riverfront Park, something she did not enjoy at first because she felt isolated.

“Maybe that’s because I was starting to see things a little bit differently,” said Reynolds.

Reynolds never planned on coming forward with the allegations. She tells News 2 she planned to stop working for the city at the end of Mayor Summey’s current term which ends in 2023.

“I had already started making a 2.5-year plan. That when the mayor left, I would go too. And I would go silently. And they wouldn’t let me finish out my tenure that way.”

Last October, Reynolds’ adult son made a negative comment on social media about Elliot Summey, Mayor Summey’s son.

Reynolds believes the actions of her son had a direct impact on her, even though she told the Summey family that those were her son’s beliefs and words and did not reflect her own.

“I took a direct hit. My workload got different, I did things that I should not have had to do as a salaried employee, I put in a lot of extra hours that I should not have to do,” said Reynolds. “When they stopped talking to me back in October, things were building and building and I was being scrutinized with everything I did.”

Fast forward to the beginning of 2022, Reynolds was removed from her role of being a Special Event Coordinator at Riverfront Park and given a new role.

“They created this position so they could remove me from what I had worked so hard for.”

Reynolds’ new title is Archives and History Coordinator. A job she says she’s not qualified for nor did she want or ask for.

“They were forcing me out of my position and creating a position I technically do not have the knowledge to do.”

Then, in February 2022, Reynolds filed a formal complaint to the city detailing what she calls the abuse of power.

Reynolds says because of this recent situation, she is upset and frustrated and has changed the way she is thinking about her future.

That’s why she decided to come forward with these allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct and abuse of power.

“I started to rethink…this is not the life I want to live.”

A press release sent to News 2 by the lawyers of Reynolds says if a formal investigation is not made into the allegations, Reynolds will take legal action.

The City of North Charleston responded with the following statement on Sunday. They declined a request for comment on Monday.

“On January 14, 2022, Ms. Reynolds was notified of a lateral move to Archives and History Coordinator. This transfer did not negatively affect Ms. Reynolds’ pay or benefits with the city. Ms. Reynolds’ complaint was received shortly thereafter.

Employment History:Part-time receptionist – 2001Secretary – 2002 Administrative Assistant – 2006 Special Events Coordinator – 2016Archives and History Coordinator – 2022

Mayor Summey and the City deny the allegations raised by Ms. Reynolds’ lawyer and will not comment further on threatened or pending litigation.

City of North Charleston”

Reynolds is currently on leave from her job as part of the Family and Medical Leave Act due to medical issues. She was approved for leave on January 21st, 2022, was reevaluated on April 14th and her leave was extended until June 24th.

This is a developing story, check back for updates.

Robert Thomas Iron Design, LLC expanding operations in Charleston County

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Robert Thomas Iron Design, LLC, a modern blacksmithing company, today announced plans to expand operations in Charleston County. The company’s $2.9 million investment will create 45 new jobs over the next three years.Founded in 2013, Robert Thomas Iron Design, LLC intertwines traditional blacksmith techniques with modern machining and fabrication methods to craft iron pieces ranging from custom architectural ironwor...

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Robert Thomas Iron Design, LLC, a modern blacksmithing company, today announced plans to expand operations in Charleston County. The company’s $2.9 million investment will create 45 new jobs over the next three years.

Founded in 2013, Robert Thomas Iron Design, LLC intertwines traditional blacksmith techniques with modern machining and fabrication methods to craft iron pieces ranging from custom architectural ironwork commissions to volume-produced pieces of furniture, decorative hardware and cookware.

Relocating within the county to 56 Hayter Street in North Charleston, Robert Thomas Iron Design, LLC’s new facility will expand the company’s operational footprint to accommodate production line growth.

The expansion is expected to be complete in the second quarter of 2023. Individuals interested in joining the Robert Thomas Iron Design, LLC team should visit the company’s careers page.

QUOTES

“We are excited about the next phase of Robert Thomas Iron Design’s growth and are very happy that we are able to do this on the historic Navy Base. Our expanded operations will enable our growing community of craftsmen and designers to have the space, equipment and support they need to keep the spirit of blacksmithing thriving in Charleston.” -Robert Thomas Iron Design Owner Robert Thomas

“The success of our existing industries is critical to South Carolina’s strong and growing economy. Today we celebrate Robert Thomas Iron Design, LLC’s expansion and 45 new jobs in Charleston County. Congratulations, and we look forward to their continued success.” -Gov. Henry McMaster

“Congratulations to Robert Thomas Iron Design, LLC on expanding in Charleston County. It’s particularly exciting to announce the growth of a modern blacksmithing company such as Robert Thomas Iron Design, LLC. We look forward to seeing how the company continues to inspire modern craftsmanship in Charleston County and across South Carolina.” -Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III

“Blacksmithing is experiencing a modern artistic revival, and we are proud that Robert Thomas Iron Design, LLC has committed to growing this craft in Charleston County. Their investment and creation of new jobs is a welcome addition to the community.” -Charleston County Council Chairman Teddie Pryor

$200M development next to TopGolf to create over 700 jobs

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The TopGolf in North Charleston is expected to open at the end of this year, but there’s another development right next to it that could bring hundreds of jobs to the Lowcountry.Crews could be seen on Friday clearing around 30 acres of land for the Uptown at Centre Pointe development, which will bring more amenities to the area between Interstates 526 and 26.The planned development is located across the street from the North Charleston Coliseum and the Performing Arts Center, along Internat...

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The TopGolf in North Charleston is expected to open at the end of this year, but there’s another development right next to it that could bring hundreds of jobs to the Lowcountry.

Crews could be seen on Friday clearing around 30 acres of land for the Uptown at Centre Pointe development, which will bring more amenities to the area between Interstates 526 and 26.

The planned development is located across the street from the North Charleston Coliseum and the Performing Arts Center, along International and Tanger Outlet Boulevards.

“We have two hotels. We have 300 apartments,” RealtyLink Charleston Principal Lenn Jewel said. “We have retail, restaurants, Waterwalk, which is long-term corporate housing and a little bit of office.”

The developer said the project will also have an 800-car parking garage. It will also an entertainment space and several more retail stores to the region.

“What we’ve created here with this dense development is a place you can tailgate before a hockey game,” Jewel said. “You can have dinner at a nice steakhouse before a Broadway show at the PAC. You can have drinks after a concert, so we’re really tied into the Coliseum Complex in North Charleston.”

Last week, the City of North Charleston rezoned 120 acres of land, so the developer could build the project with more density. Overall, it spans around 30 acres, with another 90 acres of wetlands being saved for conservation.

The city said the development is expected to create around 750 jobs.

“The larger part of the development is going to include a lot of mixed-use, which is what we like to see throughout the city is mixed-use, meaning people can live, work and play right where they live,” North Charleston spokesperson Ryan Johnson said.

The developer said the apartments and the hotel should be completed in 2024, with some of the other restaurants and stores possibly opening next year.

“You have restaurants at your feet,” Jewel said. “You have entertainment in the Coliseum at your feet. You’re close to jobs. You’re in the center of all of Charleston and the intersection of both interstates. It’s a great location.”

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.

'Backbone of this city': Charleston firefighters rally outside city hall for higher pay

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — Around 50 firefighters rallied outside of Charleston City Hall on Tuesday. They want a pay raise.The firefighters say other local agencies like Mount Pleasant and North Charleston have a higher starting pay. Now, they want to see a change.A month ago, the City of Charleston did a compensation survey. The city proposed giving city em...

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — Around 50 firefighters rallied outside of Charleston City Hall on Tuesday. They want a pay raise.

The firefighters say other local agencies like Mount Pleasant and North Charleston have a higher starting pay. Now, they want to see a change.

A month ago, the City of Charleston did a compensation survey. The city proposed giving city employees a 22 percent raise and first responders a 5 percent raise.

"The city states that a livable wage in the city is $16.50 to $17.65 an hour. Our starting wage for a fireman with a high school diploma is $12.88," said Biran Axelrod, President of Local 61 Charleston Firefighter Association.

Axelrod thinks they may not receive a larger raise because they have built-in overtime. But, he contends that isn't fair.

He explains how some Charleston firefighters can barely make ends meet.

"A lot of firemen actually have roommates with each other. It's not uncommon to have three, four, five firemen in a place to make ends meet. Most of us have some sort of secondary employment," said Axelrod.

Several firefighters spoke during the Charleston City Council meeting. They echo Axelrod's concerns.

"The backbone of this city are the employees who keep operations in place 24/7, 365. It's the employee who works ungodly overtime, but they can't think about buying a home in this city or the surrounding area," said John Baker, a Charleston firefighter.

According to city officials, firefighters with a high school diploma receive a 10 percent raise after six months and a 5 percent raise after 12 to 18 months. After 18 months, they receive a yearly raise based on their position and certifications.

Councilman Stephen Bowden said the city has a lot of concerns that need to be addressed. But, public safety is a priority.

"Budget season is in the fall. It will absolutely be on the table. We have heard their concerns. I want to make that clear. We will be addressing it. We will be trying to be competitive with other municipalities," said Bowden.

Councilman Peter Shahid believes firefighters are underpaid, and he said a change needs to be made. He said the council is trying to see if they can make adjustments to help firefighters.

"We are reviewing with one of our committees to see if that is feasible [to give firefighters a raise]. Whether or not we can go ahead and look at some of the options available to see if we can make an interim adjustment. But we have not gotten a report back yet," said Shahid.

The City of Charleston said the average firefighter pay is $61,000 a year. Last year, firefighters in Charleston received a 4.5 percent pay raise. That was their first raise since 2018.

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