Weaver volunteer firefighters say they’ll give up pay to buy equipment
by Brian Anderson
banderson@annistonstar.com
Aug 27, 2013 | 2829 views |  0 comments | 33 33 recommendations | email to a friend | print
WEAVER – A proposed city budget would do away with $10 payments Weaver volunteer firefighters receive per call and use that money to buy equipment for the Fire Department.

At the Weaver City Council meeting on Tuesday night, Fire Chief Brian Bunn said his department was willing to make the change for the upcoming fiscal year.

“It would save the city about $3,000 and allow us to get new equipment that we need,” Bunn said. “I think it’s a win-win.”

In the 2012-13 budget, the Fire Department received $28,000, most of which covered the payments for firefighters. The department’s allocation for 2013-14 would be $3,000 less according to the proposed budget, but the entire amount, $25,000, would be allocated solely for equipment.

“I appreciate the Fire Department giving up their pay to purchase new equipment,” said Weaver Mayor Wayne Willis during the meeting. “I think that shows that we’re all working together.”

But whether the Fire Department will even be part of Weaver’s budget for next year is still a lingering question. Bunn said his department is still seeking approval to join the Calhoun County Volunteer Fire Association, which would fund the department instead of Weaver.

“If that ends up being the case, then we can use that line item for something else,” Willis said.

Although the $25,000 allotted to the Fire Department in the proposed budget could be donated to the Volunteer Fire Association, the money would be split among the association’s ten other members.

Willis had proposed earlier this year reducing the pay-per-call of the firefighters and allowing them to only collect one stipend if receiving multiple calls at the same time. That proposal was eventually set aside when Councilman Jeff Clendenning suggested the Fire Department ask permission to join the Calhoun County Volunteer Fire Association.

The council didn’t take any action on the matter Tuesday, but Clendenning said the council should look to see if an ordinance or resolution pertaining to firefighter pay would need to be amended.

Although the council took its first look at the proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year at the meeting, discussion was limited as councilmen Tim McRae and Les Hill were absent. Willis said he expects to discuss the budget in detail at the next council meeting on Sept. 10.

Staff writer Brian Anderson: 256-235-3546. On Twitter @BAnderson_Star.

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