Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

April 1, 2014

Thumbs up for fire tax projects

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat — A couple of Garvin County area volunteer fire departments look to have gained the thumbs up on some possible projects in the works.

For the Walker Fire Department it could be a small expansion, while for Katie firefighters the plan is to better protect their fire station from thieves.

In both cases a request is likely coming later to pay for the projects using revenues generated by a quarter cent countywide sales tax passed a couple of years ago.

Monies from that tax are split equally among the 12 fire departments in Garvin County.

“There’s a request from the Walker Fire Department to use some of that tax money for an add-on and some lockers, said Bud Ramming, who as the county’s emergency management director works closely with area fire chiefs.

“They’re looking to improve their fire department,” he said in a reference to the Walker facility located between Pauls Valley and Stratford.

“Nothing is to be approved just yet. They want to run that by you before they go out for bids or do anything.”

Ramming’s comments were made to all three Garvin County commissioners during a weekly meeting Monday.

It was just a couple of weeks ago when the county group formalized the policies and procedures for those times when a fire department here wants to use its portion of the sales tax monies to make a purchase.

Commissioners made it clear they want all the tax revenues to go toward anything pertaining to firefighting or training.

The policy calls for any funding requests from fire departments to be submitted to Ramming, who then presents “appropriate” requests to the commissioners for their review and approval.

Daily expenditures for fire departments, such as tires, fuel, utilities and parts, will not need prior approval from commissioners.

Ramming calls it a “good plan” as Walker firefighters would like to put the tax revenues to use with this proposed fire station expansion.

“They’re looking at $10,000 to $11,000 for the add-on,” he said.

“They’ve told me they plan to do the biggest part of it themselves.”

The small expansion to Walker’s fire station is listed as being about 200 square feet in size.

It would be considered a multi-purpose space with its main use being a changing room with lockers to store individual gear for each firefighter.

As a reminder, commissioners said if a project’s costs exceed $10,000 then it must be bid out publicly.

Another $8,000 would go for brand new lockers at the Walker station, while plans are also to refinish cement floors.

Ramming said another request comes from the Katie Fire Department in the south central part of the county.

“They’re looking at getting a security system for the fire department there,” he said. “They have been broken into before.”

The cost estimate for this project is $2,000.