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City fired up about departments’ merger

The approval of the Screven County/City of Sylvania Fire Department contract is nearly a done deal following Tuesday’s city council meeting. The contract is set to last for 50 years pending that City Manager Stacy Mathis and City Attorney Hugh Hunter accept the proof of insurance for the contract. The council members approved the contract pending the insurance review. The agreement would become active on July 1 of this year, and the city is to provide fire services in the county, Hiltonia and Rocky Ford using equipment administered by the county, as well as any replacement equipment the merged department(s) might require. The city of Sylvania will be in charge of any personnel or personnel changes that may occur. The department will begin its term with the following personnel: 11 certified career firefighters, 36 certified volunteer firefighters and 26 registered volunteer firefighters. The county also has access to the inmate firefighters, who would be under the control of the county warden. The price of the contract for this year will be $475,000 that the county has agreed to pay to the city. The payments are due to the city in quarterly installments. Lastly, the insurance policy stated that the county must maintain liability insurance coverage for the current amount that the city’s insurance limits, which is $1 million per occurrence and $10 million in the aggregate and the city would be covered under the county’s insurance policy. In other council business, the board discussed the reallocation of 2007 SPLOST funds and the closing of the bank account. Both motions were made and passed by the council. The final issue discussed was that the city adopted the county’s hazard mitigation plan which was updated for natural disasters, terrorism and hazardous material incidents. The motion was made and passed. The next Sylvania City Council meeting is scheduled for July 7 at 6 p.m.