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Fayetteville, county working on aid agreement

The issue of automatic aid between Fayetteville and Fayette County is still alive.

The Fayetteville City Council in July agreed with a proposal by Fayette County Manger Steve Rapson to have the city and county fire chiefs attempt to work out an automatic aid agreement by Oct. 1.

The City Council approved a July 14 proposal by Rapson to extend the termination of the automatic aid agreement from Aug. 1 to Oct. 1 to give Fayetteville Fire Chief Alan Jones and Fayette County Fire Chief David Scarbrough time to work out a new arrangement.

“In an effort to allow an automatic aid agreement to be in place, the county will continue the current practice of providing automatic aid an additional 60 days, making the revised effective date of mutual aid Oct. 1,” Rapson said.

City Manager Joe Morton during the discussion said he believed Jones and Scarbrough “can do it.”

“The city and county can argue about automatic aid or we can try to move forward,” Morton said.

“(The county) needs us on the east and north (sides of the city) and we need them on the west (side).”

Durng the discussion Jones said he also believed he and Scarbrough could come to an agreement acceptable to both parties.

Fayette County announced in late June that it would be terminating the automatic aid agreement with the Fayetteville Fire Dept. as of Aug. 1.

Mayor Greg Clifton subsequently issued a letter to the county July 11 stating that the automatic aid agreement based on state requirements has existed essentially since 1989 and requesting the county retract its unilateral move which places homes and businesses and the lives of citizens at risk.

Rapson responded to Clifton July 14 saying his position still stands, noting that the agreement was for mutual aid, not automatic aid and the city’s idea of automatic aid is “not as clear as you represent.”

Jones during the discussion said an abandonment of the automatic aid agreement would affect response times to locations on the city’s west side and could adversely affect ISO (fire response time) ratings which could lead to higher insurance costs for property owners.

Jones said the city’s ISO review is scheduled for mid-October.


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