Figures Provide Glimpse Into Possible Fire Department Costs



Regarding the Nov. 3 letter to the editor from Payson Fire Department Chief John Ross:

The fact that Chief Ross has deemed the proposed fire district contract between Payson and Mesa del Caballo, which he signed April 15, outdated came as an abrupt shock to me and many people in the Mesa del Fire Department.

The Mesa del fire officials I talked to today (Nov. 6) said they haven't received notification written or verbal that the proposal is outdated. When I quoted those figures, I was under the impression that they were still valid, and I referred to them in good faith.

However, even if those numbers are no longer accurate penny-for-penny, they give us a clear idea of what we can expect if we do negotiate with Payson for fire and medical services.

The Payson Fire Department submitted the following proposed contract figures, which now have to be reanalyzed if they are to be considered for Payson's next fiscal budget, to the Mesa del Fire Department for consideration earlier this year: $18,500 for paid-on-call firefighters, $4,000 for safety supplies and programs, $6,200 for truck and auto repair, $3,250 for other maintenance and repairs, $39,600 for professional services, $24,860 for equipment and $12,640 for other expenses for a total of $109,050. A $20,000 penalty clause also would have applied in the event that Mesa del withdrew early from the contract.

Regardless of the final figures, a contract with Payson will impact our budget significantly. The fact remains that having Payson man the Mesa del Fire Station is by far the most expensive of the three options, (which were: keep the operation as is, contract with Payson for all services, or man the department with volunteers and contract with Payson for administrative services), Chief Ross listed.

Sheelah Golliglee, Wonder Valley, Mesa del fire board candidate

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