The Elbert Board of County Commissioners voted against a request from the Agate Fire Department to waive the application fee so the department can …
This item is available in full to subscribers.
If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.
Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.
If you made a voluntary contribution in 2022-2023 of $50 or more, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one at no additional charge. VIP Digital Access includes access to all websites and online content.
The Elbert Board of County Commissioners voted against a request
from the Agate Fire Department to waive the application fee so the
department can form a district. The decision was an example of the
commissioners’ focus on the county’s economic situation.
Commissioner Del Schwab said he struggled with the Jan. 28
decision, but knew it was his responsibility to look at the bigger
picture and the county’s financial status.
“I applaud Agate for forming a district but the board really has
to be careful of the refunds at this point,” he said.
The fire department was represented by Fire Chief Larry Rector,
who requested the waiver fee of $500 for the application for the
special district plan formation. He said the department’s finances
have been hit hard due to the increase in calls over the past year.
The department runs only on donations and one fundraiser per year,
and is made up of volunteers. He said fuel bills were extreme in
2008 for the department.
“We are barely able to keep our equipment together and our
trucks running,” Rector said. “I am blessed to have a handful of
good mechanics to keep everything running.”
Commissioner John Shipper made the recommendation to reduce the
$500 fee by 10 percent and if that reduction does not work, the
fire department will have the opportunity to face the board again
to discuss the fee. The reduction was approved by the board, and
Shipper also asked Rector to invite the commissioners to the next
Commissioner Hope Goetz said her heart is with all fire
departments, but because of her position on the board, it is her
responsibility to keep the county’s best interest in mind.
“First and foremost we have to do what is most beneficial to the
citizens of the county,” she said. “I believe at this point the 10
percent is the best we can do.”
Other items that may interest you
We have noticed you are using an ad blocking plugin in your browser.
The revenue we receive from our advertisers helps make this site possible. We request you whitelist our site.