Last week the Harrisburg City Council adopted a resolution to stop answering fire calls outside the city limits of Harrisburg, with the exception of mutual aid calls to other departments operating within their corporate limits.
This move puts the Saline County Board in the position of coming up with a whole new plan for fire protection in the county and has set a date of 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Saline County Courthouse to discuss the matter.
Roger Craig, Saline County Fire Protection Committee Chairman said Sunday, "I have talked with the board chairman and the state's attorney and we all feel that we should convene a special meeting of the board prior to the regularly scheduled meeting on the fourth Thursday of the month.”
There are two possible options available to the county board. One is reimbursing the city for the cost of fire calls in the county. The other is creating a rural fire protection district. The second alternative may require a referendum placed on the ballot and high initial costs of a building, fire trucks and other equipment.
The county board has said its budget is so tight neither option is ideal.
“We need this special meeting to talk about the fire protection issues. We have had a special committee discussing the issue, but we haven't addressed the entire board yet with our findings,” Craig said.