JASPER — The Hamilton County Board of County Commissioners discussed the Fire Protection and Related Emergency Services Agreement with the towns of White Springs and Jennings at its Dec. 4 meeting.
According to County Coordinator Louie Goodin, White Springs submitted changes to the agreement.
The agreement currently states the county will provide up to $7,500 per quarter or $30,000 per year. The town will receive prorated amounts that reflect the total amount of calls answered versus the total calls for service.
White Springs asked for a $5,000 quarterly base amount with a prorated $2,500 for percentage of answered calls.
The agreement also asked for 60 percent of the firefighters to attend monthly county training.
White Springs Fire Chief Steve Stith said the town already provides monthly training and with county training, the firefighters will be double training.
“My opinion is we don’t deviate from what we presented the town of White Springs,” Chairman Josh Smith said. “We’ve agreed in principle to the town of Jennings and I certainly can’t see this board treating one entity differently than the other. I’m of the opinion we offered you a contract, if you see not to enter into it, the county will cover the county as we have done in the past.”
Commissioner Randy Ogburn said he believed the county training would eliminate the need for White Springs to do their own training.
“We’ve always said if you go to one call and that’s all you have, that is a blessing and we are going to pay you,” Ogburn said.
Goodin said the staff is reluctant to make a recommendation due to the amount of work by Fire Coordinator Henry Land, who could not attend the meeting and the fact that the town of Jennings has already approved it.
No decision was made by the board.
Jessie R. Box is a reporter for the Suwannee Democrat, Jasper News and Mayo Free Press. Her beats include general assignment, government and police.