Garner: Opinion

Editorial: The cost of putting out fires

Garner’s elected and appointed leaders have taken a wait-and-see posture on changes in the way fire services are funded. Now’s the time, though, to start preparing to foot a bigger bill.

Wake County, which provides the bulk of the fire department funding for the Garner Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department, would like to get out of the fire service business. It’s a high-cost obligation and it’s fraught with liability. As Wake County towns and cities continue to expand, there’s less and less rural area that would typically be served by a county agency.

So it seems logical that the town of Garner will some day soon be footing a much more significant share of the financial burden to support the fire department. Few services provided by the town – or any town, for that matter – are as crucial as a fire department.

The loss of life and property can be devestating not only to those who experience a fire, but for the entire community. A well-trained, properly-equipped fire department can make a big difference when fire strikes.

As the day of reckoning approaches for this issue, it’s important that the town start preparing now for the eventuality. Setting aside money now, assessing which revenue streams might help pay for the increased financial obligation can’t wait until the change is on the doorstep. It’s important that council members agree on a plan soon so it can be put into action quickly.

Waiting for Wake County to drop the burden on the town could prove to be even more costly.