CWShores debates new fire services contract

By Phil Reynolds
Contributing Writer

Cottonwood Shores sent a proposed contract to the Cottonwood Shores Volunteer Fire Department Thursday, Sept. 5, by the narrowest of margins, with two council members (Gary Parsons and Brigitte Thomas) voting for it, one (Michael Hibdon) voting against it, one (Roger Wayson) abstaining and one (Mayor Pro-tem Cheri Trinidad) absent. Wayson said he abstained because he still didn’t have enough information about the matter.

The council had postponed action on the contract while Hibdon was out of town. He and Parsons were the council’s contract negotiators with the department’s board of directors.

Cottonwood Shores Volunteer Fire Department Secretary Janet Taylor-Carusi told The Highlander via e-mail Friday that since the board hadn’t seen the proposed contract, no date had been set for it to meet to review the proposal.

The current contract expires at the end of September but the fire department is expected to continue to provide fire protection while another contract is negotiated.

Parsons called the contract basically the same as the current one, with the city paying the fire department $3,000 more for a total of $33,000. The fire department also gets funds from Burnet County but is not funded by an emergency services district, as many local volunteer fire departments are.

Hibdon has argued that while the VFD may have several members, only seven actually have firefighter certification. He said the department needs to add certified firefighters and must provide additional training. . . .

Find the rest of this story in the Tuesday, Sept. 10 issue of The Highlander, the newspaper of record for the Highland Lakes. To offer a news tip or comment, email lew@highlandernews.com. To subscribe to the publication, call 830-693-4367, or subscribe to our E-edition online.

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