Rural Fire Protection Association reviews expenses at annual meeting
With a flicker of sadness, members of the Saline County Rural Fire Protection Association ran through the treasurer's report with Marshall Fire Chief John Rieves for the last time.
Rieves plans to retire before the next annual meeting. On Wednesday, Feb. 15, he assured the board members Assistant Fire Chief Tony Day will continue to work with the fire department, just as Rieves and his predecessor have done.
Treasurer Richard Clemens, President Larry Holland and board member Edwin Eaheart earnestly thanked Rieves for the dedication and assistance the Marshall Fire Department has shown to the Saline County Rural Fire Protection Association.
"Since 1954 we've worked with the Marshall Fire Department," Clemens said. "The fact that they've watched our trucks is worth a lot."
The Saline County Rural Fire Protection Association covers dues paying members in the heart of the county, as illustrated in the map above.
Members pay $60 for a year long membership and $200 for five years of coverage. During the meeting, board members commented the Slater Fire Department recently raised its dues.
While the rural department has maintained a steady rate for years, the group suggested it may eventually adopt a higher fee.
While the organization has $173,918.02 in savings, in the coming years the department will have to replace the truck. This anticipated expense will most likely deplete the organization's savings.
Clemens reported 2011's expenses totaled $19,110.26 with $14,283.96 dedicated to repairs.
This year the department paid nearly double in expenses due to transmission repairs and new tires.
Additionally, the department spent more than usual on advertising in an effort to attract more members.
"There's an awful lot of people that don't have memberships," Clemens said.
The maps the organization ran in The Marshall Messenger didn't match what the department received in new memberships.
Dues paying members only pay a fraction of the costs non members pay for the rural department to answer a fire call.
"I'm afraid this is something we're always going to be fighting," Rieves said.
Other business included a brief discussion regarding creating a mutual aid agreement with the Miami Fire Department as well as offering services free of charge to the Friends of Miami. The fire board did not have a quorum, so no decisions were made.