Adams County is waiting to hear from federal funding sources before purchasing a fire truck as part of its cooperative fire agreement with the City of Natchez.
Adams County Emergency Management Director Stan Owens said the Assistance to Firefighter’s Grant the county applied for through the Federal Emergency Management Agency is for $450,000 and requires a 5-percent match, which would require $22,500 in county funds.
When the county supervisors renewed the agreement they have had with the city for fire protection outside the city limits, one of the provisions included was that the county would provide a new fire truck for the Natchez Fire Department to use in responding to fires.
Another key provision in the agreement was that the county would work to reduce the number of calls the NFD responds to outside the city limits by building up the county’s volunteer firefighter base to handle smaller fires.
The county has worked to recruit new volunteers, but has not purchased the fire truck. During the Natchez Board of Aldermen’s mid-April meeting, the aldermen expressed concerns the truck had not yet been provided.
“Fire trucks are not cheap, so that is why we are trying to go through this avenue of getting grants,” Adams County Supervisor David Carter said. “The truck will help the city and the county out, and our goal as supervisors is obviously the protection of city residents as well as county residents.”
During the April alderman’s meeting, Alderwoman Joyce Arceneaux-Mathis expressed concern that the county had not budgeted the cost of the truck for the fiscal year and was depending on the grant for the funding.
The city and county have had a cooperative agreement for fire coverage since 1994. The county pays the city $626,000 annually as part of the agreement.
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