Tri County FD Asks Summers County For Money, Fire Board Members Appointed - West Virginia Daily News
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Tri County FD Asks Summers County For Money, Fire Board Members Appointed

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Officials with the Tri-County Fire Department in Alderson want their money.

Jim Massey, Tri County fire chief, spoke before the Summers County Fire Board on Monday, June 21, to state that his department has not received money from Summers County since 1985, even though the Greenbrier County-based department responds to calls across county lines.

A prior agreement was made that Summers County would provide Tri County with $5,000 a year to help cover costs associated with these call-outs, but that just hasn’t been happening, Massey said.

In 2021, so far, Massey stated that Tri County has responded to six calls in Summers County. Thirteen calls were answered in 2020.

It is vital that Tri County continue to provide services to those living close to the county line so that homeowners receive lower home insurance costs, Massey explained.

Summers County Commissioner Mike Gore told Massey that $5,000 is included in the Summers County budget for Tri County and that they should be receiving it.

“They swear $5,000 is coming, but we aren’t getting it,” Massey responded. He said he has asked those at the Alderson Fire Department if they were mistakenly receiving the funds, but they are not.

Gore told Massey to call the Summers County Commission Clerk to be placed on the next agenda so that an investigation into the missing money can begin.

In other Summers County Fire Board news, Bill Costomiris, Talcott Fire Chief, discussed ethics, responsibility and accountability for those serving on the fire board.

“We owe them the best management of our fire departments as we can,” Costomiris said of all Summers County residents. “There should be some accountability.”

Each homeowner in Summers County pays a $25 yearly tax fee to provide financial assistance to the six fire departments serving the county. This nets a total of roughly $16,000 a year, which provides departments with better equipment, better training and a better ISO rating.

It is no secret that recent events have hurt the public perception of those with local fire departments, Costomiris continued. However, it should be the goal of the board to become mindful of public perception.

Also, at this meeting, new fire board members were appointed.

Johnny Ratliff will serve as the new president of the Summers County Fire Board and Kody Lilly will serve as vice-president. Sandy Bragg will continue as secretary/treasurer.

The next meeting of the Summers County Fire Board will take place on the third Monday in September.

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