City and County Leaders Discuss Fire Service Agreement - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

City and County Leaders Discuss Fire Service Agreement

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SALISBURY, Md. - Leaders in the City of Salisbury and Wicomico County met for the first time on Tuesday to discuss the possibility of a  new fire service agreement.  Salisbury Mayor Jim Ireton said earlier this month that without a new agreement between the two, Salisbury Fire and EMS will not respond to calls outside of the city limits after July 1st.

Mayor Ireton said the city responds to over 60% of the fire and EMS calls, but is only compensated for about 25% of those calls.   With the mayor's deadline approaching, city and county leaders met on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the issue.  Salisbury leaders brought their own proposal to the table; a new property tax for all county residents that would increase funding for all of the fire departments in Wicomico County.  However, it is just a suggestion and not set in stone.   County Executive Bob Culver called Tuesday's closed door meeting productive and says the two sides will meet again in two weeks.

After the meeting, Culver also asked for some clarification from the city of Salisbury.  The county executive says he needs to know by Friday if the city will in fact carry out the plan to end emergency response calls into the county.  Culver set the deadline for an answer for Friday because, according to the county executive, Wicomico County will need ten weeks to adjust.  Culver also added that the funding the county provides to the three fire departments in Salisbury would be cut off and that money would be redistributed to other fire departments in the county.

Culver said if the city will not end response calls into the county, the two sides can sit down again later this year for longer range planning of a new fire service agreement between the city of Salisbury and Wicomico County.

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