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Engine upgrade continues to simmer with no county funding relief in sight
Wilson County NewsAugust 13, 2014 | 2,427 views | 3 comments
“We have no money,” is the response the Wilson County commissioners give to Stockdale Fire Chief Edwin Baker when asking for financial assistance to upgrade the outdated fire engines. Baker advised the Stockdale City Council during its Aug. 5 regular monthly meeting that the fire engines are too old and will not count when the ISO (Insurance Services Office) inspectors take inventory. Costs to replace a fire engine are estimated between $400,000 and $500,000.
With an estimated 30 percent of calls coming from within the city, Stockdale Mayor Ray Wolff and the council questioned how much financial responsibility the city has to bear regarding the Stockdale Volunteer Fire Department (VFD).
Wolff suggested addressing the funding issue by charging for the amount of time involved. Baker said firefighters are at the scene of wrecks for up to eight hours when a fatality or an 18-wheeler is involved in an accident.
While the same billing company responsible for the Stockdale Emergency Medical Services also bills for services rendered by the fire department (including hazmat duties), no payments have been received.
“The city is not responsible to carry the [financial] load,” Wolff said, and then asked for other means of assistance, since the Stockdale VFD covers approximately one-third of Wilson County.
The council also questioned funding for the Stockdale-Longhorn VFD, which is located in the Stockdale emergency services area.
Baker said upgrade costs for an engine will remain in the VFD budget proposed for the next fiscal year.
Since the county purchased one of the fire engines in the past, Baker said after the meeting, the fire department might use one for city calls and the other for county calls.
In another citizen safety report, Deputy City Marshal David Rice gave the July marshal’s report, including two attempted break-ins at the Little League concession stand.
The council also:
•Approved a resolution related to the Floresville Electric Light & Power System’s (FELPS) $9.5 million bond issue. See Aug. 6 “FELPS board approves $9.5M bond.”
•Approved the purchase of a 36-hp 3616 Mahindra tractor, mower-shredder, and bucket for $29,362.
•Approved the transfer of the title of 1 acre of land, located at the corner of Guerra, St. Mary’s, and Wheeler streets to the Stockdale Economic Development Corp., since a company is interested in purchasing 3 acres for a three-phase project. No other information was given.
•Approved three resolutions related to the Stockdale Municipal Court, including the establishment of a fee for the use of credit cards to pay fees, fines, court costs, and other charges.
•Held a workshop following the meeting. The proposed tax rate will remain at 36.67 cents per $100 of assessed property value.
What is the ISO?
According to the Texas Department of Insurance, the Insurance Services Office (ISO) is an advisory organization that serves the property and casualty insurance industry by providing inspection services.
The ISO uses the Public Protection Classification system to reflect a community’s local fire protection for property insurance rating purposes.
Included in the rating schedule are fire department equipment and manpower.
Stockdale City Deputy Marshal David Rice reported activity for his department in July, including:
•Citations issued, 17
•Arrests made, 6, including two possessions of marijuana, less than 2 ounces.
Your Opinions and Comments
Quahog, Rhode Island
August 15, 2014 3:51pm
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Dry Tank, TX
August 15, 2014 9:27am
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