SBY Mayor: If No Agreement, Fire Service Ceases to Wico. County - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

SBY Mayor: If No Agreement, Fire Service Ceases to Wico. County

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SALISBURY, Md. - Salisbury Mayor Jim Ireton made himself very clear on Wednesday afternoon.  Ireton said if there is no new fire service agreement between the city of Salisbury and Wicomico County by July 1st, the city's fire trucks will no longer respond to calls outside of the city limits.

Mayor Ireton said the fire service agreement between the City of Salisbury and Wicomico County expired back in 2009 but the agreement was used on an annual basis since then.  However, Ireton says that cannot happen for another year.  The mayor says Salisbury Fire and EMS services respond to more calls annually than the city is compensated for, to the tune of $2.2 million dollars.

As Ireton unveiled his budget for the FY2016 fiscal year, he made it clear that when that fiscal year begins on July 1st, if there is no new equitable fire service agreement in place, the city's fire trucks will not leave the city limits.

There is a mutual aid agreement in place in Wicomico County.  If there is a huge fire or emergency that requires the Salisbury Fire Department to respond, the mayor says the department will go.  However, it is the every day fire and EMS calls the mayor says pile up that cause the city to take that annual 2 million dollar hit.

Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver attended Mayor Ireton's press conference on Wednesday afternoon and responded to Ireton's deadline.

"Can it be done by July? I'm going to be honest, I don't know.  I will make this guarantee though for the people of Wicomico County, there will not be any place un-served, un-protected, in Wicomico County as long as I am executive of this county," Culver said.

Culver also released a statement following the press conference that read, "Notwithstanding the Mayor's arbitrary demands and timelines, County staff has been undertaking its own review and analysis of fire and Emergency Service.  When the County feels that is has completed a thorough, factual investigation, review and analysis we will issue further statements as to our position."

Ireton and Fire Chief Rick Hoppes say they have already created the framework for a new agreement and tax system that would allow every fire company in the county to receive adequate funding.  


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