Commissioners realign VFD boundaries


Uhland, Maxwell, Chisholm Trail affected by changes

By LPR Staff

Three volunteer fire department territories in eastern Caldwell County have been realigned as a result of the recent disbanding of the Uhland Volunteer Fire Department.
The Caldwell County Commissioners approved a proposal on Monday that will assign most of Uhlan

d”s territory to Chisholm Trail Fire Rescue (CTFR), with the exception of a portion between FM 2720 and Clear Fork Creek, which will be assigned to the Maxwell Volunteer Fire Department.
According to Commissioner Neto Madrigal, the City of Uhland asked that the existing boundaries be changed in preparation for a subdivision that is being planned off Farmers Road near Uhland. Madrigal said Uhland hopes to annex the area in the future, and allowing the portion to be annexed to remain within the jurisdiction of CTFR would be more convenient.
In addition, the City of Uhland will rent space to CTFR for storage of fire apparatus, allowing the department to have access to equipment in the Uhland area.
“It is our intention for Uhland and its territorial jurisdiction to eventually be included in the proposed Caldwell Hays County Emergency Service District No. 1,” wrote Uhland City Administrator Diana Woods in a letter to County Judge H.T. Wright earlier this month. “For the time being, our partnership with CTFR, Inc., includes fire protection coverage from their organization with in-kind support from us in the way of building spac for their equipment.”
The inactivity of Uhland”s VFD and the subsequent dividing of Uhland territory left Commissioners with the question as to how to handle funds that are distributed to the volunteer fire departments monthly. According to County Treasurer Lori Rangel-Pompa, the disbursements for November had already been sent. Wright suggested that, effective Dec. 1, the funds would be split between Maxwell and CTFR, with Maxwell receiving one-third of the funds initially designated to Uhland, and CTFR receiving the rest.
In other fire-related business, Emergency Management Coordinator Jim Parker suggested that the Commissioners leave the outdoor burning ban off for one more week.
“We”re still in good shape now, but we are drying out,” Parker said. “We had three small fires on that windy Wednesday last week.”
Parker indicated there was no evidence that any of the fires had been started by blatant human error, but suggested that reinstating the ban should be something the Court thinks about in the near future.
The panel voted unanimously to leave the burn ban off for the time being.
The Commissioners were approached by Bill Hernandez, the chairman of the Caldwell County Child Welfare Board, who requested the County”s assistance in funding the “Rainbow Room,” a storage facility for equipment needed by Child Protective Service caseworkers.
“CPS investigators often need resources that fall outside of the regular governmental budgets and are sometimes needed at a moment”s notice,” Hernandez said. “The Rainbow Room has to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
Hernandez said the board was currently leasing a climate-controlled storage facility for $47.50 per month, and asked the County”s assistance in paying the rental expenses.
The Commissioners unanimously agreed to fund the rental of the storage space for one year.
In brief Court news:
Caldwell County spent $20,792.02 on indigent health care services in October. The total annual budget for indigent health care is around $300,000.
The Commissioners approved the County”s holiday calendar for 2007. The calendar will include 12.5 paid holidays for county employees.
The County paid bills in the amount of $115,836.96, including $11,531 for indigent legal defense.
The Caldwell County Commissioners Court will meet next on Monday, Nov. 27, 2006 at 9 a.m. in Room 100 of the Caldwell County Courthouse.


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