After several weeks of debate between the Worth County Board of Commissioners and the Town of Sumner, the county agreed in a regularly scheduled meeting this morning to honor a contract providing funding for the town to open a fire station.
In August of 2012, the commissioners agreed to assist Sumner with the opening of a substation. A contract was then delivered to Sumner officials in September where it was signed by Charlie Hall, the former Mayor of Sumner, Sumner’s clerk, the previous county chairman Matt Medders, and the county’s clerk. However, with the ribbon cutting for the station scheduled for next Thursday, July 8th, it appeared the county was not going to fulfill the terms of the agreement. Current Worth County Board of Commissioners Chairman Mike Cosby did not believe the contract was valid because according to him, no record could be found in any of the minutes where the previous board voted to approve the contract.
Sumner Mayor Don Long appeared before the Worth County Board of Commissioners during a public hearing to discuss the 2013-2014 proposed budget after learning the county had not included funding for the Sumner fire department. Accompanied by several Sumner residents, the mayor argued the validity of the contract and strongly urged the board to “do the right thing.” Officials tell us the Town of Sumner intended to pursue legal action if the county did not provide for the contract.
According to a statement made by the chairman, the county will reassign one man per shift of the four scheduled men at Worth County EMA/Fire/Rescue headquarters to the Sumner station, accompanied by one part-time firefighter. It was also agreed an engine currently housed in the community of Isabella will be moved to the Sumner station.