Walton Co. Could Take Over the Freeport Fire Dept

Freeport City Officials say they are several reasons for the proposal to hand over the fire department to the county, including money and manpower.

During Tuesday night's Walton County Commission meeting, commissioners seemed to support the plan.

"They are trying to get their budget in place and the $263,000 would be a part of it as everyone is they are trying to cut back on budgets any way that they can. They just felt with what they had already in place in the county they would also be able to take care of the fire department in Freeport,” said Russ Barley, Freeport Mayor.

Besides the money issues, supporters believe residents will get better protection against fires.

"The county is now ready to provide firefighters east of the city and west of the city that will provide lower insurance rates for those home owners and quicker fire response. At the same time we can work with the city of Freeport to enhance their firefighting capabilities,” said Bill Imfeld, Walton County Commissioner for District 3.

Mayor barley says he feels this won't be an issue for the city, or the firefighters.

"Any certification is at the counties expense, and the counties budget is higher than ours so they would have an increased pay,” stated Barley.

Freeport City Commissioners are scheduled to take a final vote on the plan September 26th.

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