Lanagan Fire Department Merges With Noel
Thursday, November 8, 2012
With no revenue and an engine that won’t run, the Lanagan Fire Department is no longer in operation.
But, the residents of Lanagan will still have fire protection - only it will be provided by the Noel Fire Department.
At a special Lanagan City Council meeting held Nov. 1, the council agreed to disband the Lanagan Fire Department and merge its operations into those of the Noel Fire Department, pending approval of a contract that will be worked out between the two cities. The council approved to immediately disband the fire department with Noel to cover any calls until an agreement is worked out.
Among the items the agreement will cover include expenses that will be covered by Noel, the use of Lanagan’s equipment, the use of the Lanagan fire station and what equipment will be placed there.
Noel Fire Chief Brandon Barrett said his department has two engines and he plans to bring one of those to Lanagan while Lanagan’s engine is being repaired. Barrett said hehas other units that he will bring to Lanagan once an agreement is in place.
Barrett said the Noel Fire Department will be responsible for paying all of the Lanagan Fire Department’s expenses, including insurance, engine payment, utilities and fuel. Barrett said he will send out bills for dues to residents in the Lanagan Fire District after the fi rst of the year. He said residences inside the city limits will not be required to pay dues.
The contract is to be for a year. Alderman Jason Slaven said if Lanagan gets back on solid financial footing, it could be possible for the Lanagan Fire Department to reorganize.
The meeting was the fi rst for the city in several weeks due to a lack of a quorum. The council was down totwo aldermen following the recent resignations of former mayor Mary Beaver and former alderman Pat Walker leaving only aldermen Jason Slaven and Angie Medrano on the council. In order to reach a quorum, Jack Chism was appointed to the board to begin the meeting.
Following the acceptance of the resignations of Beaver and Walker, Slaven addressed the city’s fi nancial condition.
“The city is in dire need of money,” Slaven said. “The income to debt ratio is outrageous.”
Slaven said one way to cut expenses was to cut back city hall hours. He said he hopes the move is only temporary, but for now it needs to be done. City Clerk Monica Blue said the busiest days of the week are Tuesday and Thursday. The council agreed for city hall only to be openfrom 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. those days. The fire department was the other expense that Slaven said had to be cut.
“The fire department has been funded by the city for the last couple of months and the city is broke,” Slaven said.
Blue said the fi re department has expenses of over $1,500 per month, including workman’s compensation insurance of $450, property insurance of $350-$400, utilities $150-$200, fuel $100 to $400 plus miscellaneous expenses each month.
News, Pages 1 on 11/08/2012