By Karen Daniels
For numerous years, the City of Stafford’s Fire Department has handled the fire services and emergencies that occur in the unincorporated section of Harris County that occupy part of Stafford. Each year the City enters into an interlocal agreement to cover Zones 4A, 4B and 4C, a pie wedge section of Stafford roughly situated west and east of Murphy Road.
The agreement at this time – April 1 thru October 31 – provides $19K to the City of Stafford by Harris County for service calls made to these areas. Larry Di Camillo, Stafford’s Fire Chief, spoke to City Council about concerns with Zone B, specifically the portion that runs along Highway 59. “This area has a difficult infrastructure and lacks sufficient hydrants. Stafford is vulnerable, as are most cities in these sections.”
Now being proposed by Harris County is to purchase a new fire truck, a water supply apparatus, that will be amortized over the next six years to cover the compensation Stafford would normally receive. On the seventh year, the title of the truck will be turned over to the City of Stafford for ownership. At that time, a new agreement will be made to cover the costs of Stafford servicing these unincorporated zones, which will be combined and referred to as Zone 4. Chief Di Camillo explained to Council that the water truck under consideration has a typical shelf-life of 11 years.
City Attorney, Art Pertile, advised Council that most fire stations receive no recoupment when called by another city or county to assist in an emergency. For accounting purposes, the truck will be listed as a fixed asset, rather than revenue. Further more, the new truck can be used anywhere throughout Stafford. There will be no restrictions on service area.