This is the same plan presented to the fire board by Fire Chief Dewey Woody at a previous meeting.
The motion to officially adopt the plan was made by fire board member Briant Berry during a meeting Tuesday.
Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis said the plan was the same one brought before the board a year ago with minor changes. Despite a vote Monday by the Commission not to negotiate a new contract, Woody expressed concern Tuesday that the subject of a contract may come up again later.
The potential return of the issue is why board member Louie Alford, who seconded the motion, added the recommendation not to consider any further fire contracts.
Davis presented a detailed financial outline of the plan to the board members. Further development can be achieved with existing revenue, according to the mayor. Davis also pointed out the fund balance stays the same throughout the implementation of the plan. Since the fire department is funded through a separate tax, the department has the revenue to be able to borrow for the construction of the new stations.
“Our goal will be to duplicate the fringe area, and do better, and to expand the fringe area (which we are doing) and to improve the rural area,” Davis said.
Woody said the past few years development has been on hold as the county tried to decide which direction it wanted to take.
The plan calls for the addition of three new stations staffed by paid firefighters. As the stations are built, the fringe area will change providing better service to more people. Those included in the new fringe that were once in the rural coverage area will be charged the fringe fire tax rate to pay for the better coverage. The fringe area is the five mile radius of a full-time fire station. Thirty-six new employees will also be hired if the plan is formally adopted. The exact location of the third station, which will be somewhere on Highway 64, has not been determined. Volunteer stations will remain active.
The 2012-13 fiscal year is when many of the changes are to take place.
“That’s when everything really happens. The contract ends, the stations are built, staffed and equipped …” Davis said.
The following year, new fringe area boundaries will be set. During the meeting Tuesday, Woody said the boundary lines need to be reviewed and changed every so often to reflect growing population in certain areas. According to Woody, these lines have not been redrawn for several years.