A 10-year fire contract for the East Jackson Fire District that calls for the construction of a new facility was approved by the board of commissioners Monday night, but not before an exchange over whether to postpone the action.
The vote to proceed passed 3-1 with chairman Tom Crow casting the “no” vote. Commissioners Dwain Smith, Bruce Yates and Chas Hardy voted for the motion. Commissioner Jim Hix was not present.
There was discussion on postponing action to give the county attorney more time to review the contract.
“We have been working on this six to eight months,” Hardy said. “It concerns me that our legal consultant has not seen this contract. I don’t know where the ball got dropped on that. I do know that both the city and the fire district are ready to move on this. We have people down there paying exorbitant fire insurance premiums right now because they are not receiving the ISO rating they will receive once this station gets built and starts getting staffed by the city of Commerce. I feel we are under pressure to approve this contract. If we need to come back, I feel we can work with the city and the fire district. I believe there is enough good will there if we need to modify this contract in a month or two. I believe we need to approve this contract and get the ball moving on the engineering.”
Yates said he supported moving forward because the contract had already been approved by the elected officials in Commerce.
“I have faith and confidence in our cities and their officials,” Yates said. “This was approved by the fire board. It was approved by the city.”
Crow presented information on the costs of providing fire service by each department.
New Fire Station
The contract calls for the construction of a fire to be funded by the East Jackson Fire District 1.6-mill tax levy. It also calls for the city of Commerce to provide at least one pumper, one tanker and one service company to all structure fires.
For the full story, see the March 19 issue of The Commerce News.
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