SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Chatham County and the fire service they count on to keep the unincorporated county safe now have a new, updated agreement.
At last weeks County Commission meeting, commissioners voted to approve the new agreement with Chatham Emergency Services, something they had not done in more than three decades.
The previous contact for fire service in unincorporated Chatham County had been extended since technically expiring in February.
The old agreement between the County and Chatham Emergency Services was a one dollar contract.
“There’s always been an agreement in place. This is now a much better revision,” said Chuck Kearns, CEO for Chatham Emergency Services.
Kearns said now, the County will subscribe to the not-for-profit fire service like everyone else in Chatham’s unincorporated areas.
“Now we bill based on valuation of property. So the County Government’s bill actually came to about 12,000 dollars a year now,” said Kearns.
That money will guarantee fire service from the department for all County-owned properties and those owned or used by the Live Oak Public Library System in unincorporated Chatham County.
The agreement will also call for Chatham Emergency Services to maintain an ISO rating of four or better, which Kearns said they already do, and plan on keeping up. Kearns said, “We want to be better than that always, and give the best possible service to the community.”
As for the fire services funds now coming in from the County for the next year, Kearns explained where that’s likely headed.
“This is helping to get us where we need to be. It’s a big assistance to us, and it will most likely go towards new equipment.”