According to a report from Metter Advisor, the Metter (GA) City Council rejected a proposal from Candler County Monday in a unanimous vote on a proposed solution to their ongoing fire truck debate.
The new fire truck in Metter Fire-Rescue’s (MFR’s) fleet has been a sore spot since its purchase, which occurred when the city and county agreed on a new Service Delivery Strategy (SDS) where both parties would pay 50 percent of the MFR’s operational and capital budgets. The city has maintained that, although the truck was ordered before the SDS agreements were signed, the county should continue with the terms of the SDS agreement and pay for 50 percent of the new truck’s price.
The county retorted that since they had no input in the capital expenditure and that the purchase occurred before the SDS agreement was signed, they should not be obligated to pay for the fire truck.
The county notified the city in June that the fire truck expense would not be included in the County’s Fiscal 2021 budget. The City responded four months later, in October, that the County was obligated to pay or could opt out of the SDS agreement.
In January, the City sent a letter to the County outlining proposed areas of negotiation to resolve the fire truck issue, including the following:
1) The City pays for the fire radios,
2) the City accepts ownership and liability of the industrial park pond,
3) the City grants a water bill reduction on irrigation at the recreation department, and
4) the County pays its share of the purchase cost of the fire truck.
The commissioners added that the proposal was non-negotiable and must be approved by the City by March 17. MFR Chief Jason Douglas said the department needs to purchase another truck, and is working on a schedule of replacing an engine every 10 years.