Judge-Executive Stan Humphries said that the fire department has requested that the county lease a half-acre of land to set up a substation. He said the court had discussed the issue at length and he felt that allowing them to lease the land would benefit the citizens in that area. He said that the all-volunteer organization had demonstrated the “fullness of their work” in the past, in particular over the summer when the drought caused them to get called to more fires.
Magistrate Doug Taylor said he was reluctant to grant the lease at less than the full market value because the department was a volunteer organization and not a county office. He also said he didn’t think declining the lease would necessarily set them back on their ability to provide protection for their citizens.
“I don’t want to set a precedent of specialized treatment,” Taylor said.
Magistrate Kevin Taylor said that when the court first began talking about the issue, he was assuming they “were opening the door for the right reasons. He said, though, that he had thought fire departments were county agencies. He said there were plenty of other organizations in the county that could make the same claims about providing important services. He said that if they voted to help the Montgomery Fire Department this time, there might be many other organizations wanting help in the future.
Humphries said that if volunteer fire departments couldn’t provide services, then those services would fall on the county. He said that it made sense for the county to let the fire department use some land that the county was not currently using.
For the full story on the Complex land and other Fiscal Court actions, see the November 28 Cadiz Record.