Navasota Fire Department reaches reimbursement agreement with county

KYLE 28
POSTED: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - 4:01pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - 10:17pm

It's a problem that fire departments all across the country are experiencing; budgets are limited and the funds just aren't what they used to be.

"When you're operating these large trucks out here they really like to drink the gas and those expenditures continue to climb, maintenance climbs and equipment is expensive," said Navasota Fire Chief Jason Katkoski.

The Navasota Fire Department isn't immune to the financial hardships.

With a small annual budget of around $500,000, every penny counts.

And when the department makes 23 percent of all their calls outside their jurisdiction in the county; it's a burden that's straining the department so they went to the Grimes County commissioners and asked to be reimbursed.

"It costs us about $126,000 every year and so we asked for that back and I think that number shocked them, considering they only give us $40,000 a year," Chief Katkoski said. 

After months of going back and forth a mutual short term agreement was reached.

The county will give the Navasota Fire Department a little more than $84,000 for the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

That amount doesn't come close to what it's costing the city but Chief Katkoski says it's a step in the right direction.

"I don't want to see anybody go without or have to wait longer for another department to come so to get to an agreement that both the city approved and the commissioners feel comfortable with, I'm pleased with that."

Chief Katkoski tells us the city is still in discussions with the commissioners to try and reach a long-term contract about repayments in the future.

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