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County agrees to five-year fire agreement with Bighorn

Cremona, Water Valley fire departments provide response

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY – Mountain View County council has approved a five-year extension of an updated fire agreement with the Municipal District of Bighorn.

The move came by way of motion at the recent regularly scheduled council meeting.

Chris Atchison, director of legislative services, said the agreement provides fire services to a portion of the MD where the Cremona and Water Valley fire departments can respond quicker than Bighorn departments.

The current agreement was set to expire on Dec. 31.

“We have been working with the MD to come up with an amended agreement that we have presented for council’s consideration,” said Atchison.

“The agreement is substantially the same as the existing agreement and we are currently working on some updated mapping that will be put into the agreement. The agreement does allow us to recover costs as necessary if we deem that it has become cost prohibitive for our fire departments.”

Administration has spoken with the Cremona fire chief and “he sees no issue continuing the agreement as it currently stands,” he said.

The agreement includes a mandatory annual payment of $4,500 and cost recovery payments based on the number of responses.

The updated agreement includes a provision that the “MD and county agree that in the event that manpower or equipment is in use at another event, that existing mutual aid agreements will be put in motion, and that any manpower or equipment that can be spared in the opinion of the fire chief or designate will be released to the second event.”

Atchison presented some recent statistics related to the agreement, including that Cremona and Water Valley firefighters had responded to five incidents in 2019 by the date of presentation, four in 2018, three in 2017, three in 2016 and five in 2015.

The Bighorn council reviewed and approved the updated agreement on Dec. 9.