Port Royal OK's fire services agreement with Beaufort

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Port Royal OK's fire services agreement with Beaufort

By ERIN MOODY
emoody@beaufortgazette.com
Published Thursday, February 14, 2013   |  408 Words  |  

Port Royal Town Council agreed Thursday to a new fire services agreement with the city of Beaufort that includes paying a management fee and 24 percent of departmental costs.

Beaufort City Council is expected to vote on the agreement at its meeting Tuesday.

"Chief, keep up the good work," Port Royal Mayor Sam Murray told Beaufort/Port Royal Fire Department Chief Sammy Negron after the unanimous vote.

The municipalities have been working under the terms of an agreed penned about 20 years ago, and town and city officials say the new version is clearer. It includes estimated expenses for the town so it can better budget for annual costs.

The percentage each entity pays is based on housing and the number of structures in the respective areas. That percentage will be adjusted annually based on property information from the Beaufort County Assessor's Office, according to the agreement.

The estimated costs for next year are $712,716 for Port Royal. Beau fort's share is $2,256,935

Port Royal's share includes $45,975 for management costs.

Inflation of 2.5 percent is built into the agreement. There is a two-year notice for ending the pact to allow time for the fire department to separate and set up appropriate protection services.

All firefighters will be city employees, and Beaufort has committed to maintaining a Class 2 Insurance Safety Office fire rating for the area.

The ISO rating is one often used by insurance companies to measure a community's ability to provide fire protection. One is the highest rating, and 10 the lowest, according to the ISO.

Beaufort's commitment includes purchasing equipment, trucks, land and buildings as needed. Those purchases are the sole responsibility of the city unless the town wants to make a joint purchase.

Port Royal will continue to own its trucks, equipment, furniture and other assets, but the city will take over maintenance and repair costs.

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