fire department

Don Rush

In the ongoing dispute over fire and EMS service Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver has some questions about any agreement with the city of Salisbury.

Mayor Jim Ireton has threatened to cut off city fire and EMS service to surrounding county areas by July 1st  if city taxpayers are not given some form of tax relief for those services.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that many of the questions center on funding mechanisms.

The two sides are to meet on April 28th to discuss the issue.

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The best way to deal with providing fire and EMS service in Salisbury and the surrounding area is for Wicomico County to agree to some form of tax relief.

That’s was the opinion of the Salisbury Fire Chief Rick Hoppes.

Mayor Jim Ireton has laid down a deadline for later this year for the county to come to some agreement with the city or fire and EMS service will be restricted to the city limits of Salisbury.

The comments by the chief came during a roundtable discussion yesterday looking at options to resolve the issue.

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If there is no meeting between Mayor Jim Ireton and Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver by April 28th the Mayor says he will outline a number options to the public on the issue of city fire and EMS service to the county.

Ireton declared, ”You have city taxpayer money and you have to give it back.”

This week the Mayor said that if there is no agreement by July 1st on tax relief for city residents who provide fire and EMS services to the county he will keep those services to within the city limits.

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Mayor Jim Ireton will lay out his 2016 fiscal budget for the Salisbury City Council this afternoon.

Issues in his spending plan range from the first ever reduction in Urban Service sewer rates and public safety to infrastructure improvements and a new zoo exhibit.

In addition, the Mayor is expected to bring up – what has been called -- the Nuclear Option for Fire Department and EMS service.

The Mayor is seeking tax relief from Wicomico County for duplicative services.

 

During tonight’s City Council meeting, a number of departments will be asking for money.

              The Salisbury Police Department is requesting appropriation of $21,000 to pay for emergency repairs to a police tower on Marine Road that was damaged by a lightning strike on Aug. 2, as well as budget amendment to transfer $1,400 earned through their ammunition recycling program from the General Fund into the Fire Department budget.