Association says it needs $17,000 to continue fire protection for former Mitchell TownshipThe Mitchell Rural Fire Association says it needs $17,000 from the former Mitchell Township to continue providing that area with fire protection, and the association is hosting a public meeting this weekend to discuss the problem.
By: Liz Bos, The Daily Republic
The Mitchell Rural Fire Association says it needs $17,000 from the former Mitchell Township to continue providing that area with fire protection, and the association is hosting a public meeting this weekend to discuss the problem.
The meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Davison County Fairgrounds.
“It’s an informational meeting for the public so we can explain what’s been going on,” said Burt Wilson, treasurer of the association. “There’s a problem here and we’ve been working to resolve it.”
Wilson said the fire association has exhausted its options for getting the funding it needs. If a source of funding isn’t found, he said, the association may not be able to provide fire protection for the former Mitchell Township.
“We feel they would have to negotiate with (Mitchell) for fire protection,” Wilson said, explaining what could happen if the association ends its coverage of the area.
The township disbanded in 2002. The part of the former township that receives fire protection from the association is a 36-square-mile area around Mitchell, but it excludes everything within the city limits.
According to Wilson, the association had expected to get more than $17,000 from Davison County to help pay for the association’s new grass rig and build up the association’s cash reserves, but the County Commission is contributing only $3,000. Wilson and other association members met with the commission many times to seek more money, to no avail.
“The county says they’re not responsible for fire protection, but they have control of the (former Mitchell) township,” Wilson said. “They have not wanted to cooperate and enable us to do our job.”
The association was forced to take out a loan with a bank to buy the grass rig, the price of which was $50,000. It was delivered to the association a few days ago.
The association provides fire protection for seven townships in the Mitchell area, including areas in Beulah, Lisbon and Prosper townships and all of Perry Township, as well as parts of Plano and Hanson townships in Hanson County. The other townships have all covered their obligations to the association.
According to Wilson, each township contributes funding according to its share of the association’s total property value. The area that makes up the former Mitchell Township owes 36 percent of the funding, he said.
Although Wilson said the association has not yet decided what it will do to get the $17,000 it needs, members are hoping for a good turnout at Sunday’s meeting so residents can provide their input on the situation.
“The main objective of this meeting is for the public’s benefit,” Wilson said.