Since October, the Town of Powell has been in negotiations with the Navarro County Emergency Services District #1 about their contract to respond to fires and emergencies in the area.
On Thursday, the ESD and the town sent out a joint press release stating that they had reached an agreement and signed a contract.
Basically, the town leaders were afraid the ESD was trying to seize the town’s property, things like the fire station and the fire trucks, stuff bought with town resources.
The ESD’s position was that a new state law gives the ESD ownership over anything bought or paid for with ESD money.
At an impasse, the fire department and the ESD leaderships agreed to keep operating under an informal arrangement where the department would respond to fires and the ESD would keep paying for the department’s insurance.
Unable to reach an agreement, the ESD board voted to form its own volunteer fire department to respond to fires in the northern portion of the district.
Under the terms of this new agreement, the Powell department will continue to respond to fires while the ESD goes ahead with forming its own fire department. Once it’s underway, the “Powell Battalion” of the ESD VFD will be based in the Powell station and will use the existing trucks and equipment.
“While the Town of Powell has elected to take a new course with its volunteer department we are excited to work with the ESD #1 to continue to protect our citizens and the taxpayers of the western portion of the district,” stated Powell Mayor Dennis Bancroft in the press release. “The district has begun to recruit volunteers for the department and will continue to provide modern equipment and training to ensure protection for the citizens of the district.”
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