Burnet County Emergency Services District No. 3 voted Sept. 3 to increase its annual payment to the city of Granite Shoals for fire protection services. ESD No. 3 will now pay $239,500 when the new fiscal year starts Oct. 1, up $43,500 from the original contract that was signed in January. That extra money will go toward hiring six part-time firefighters so Granite Shoals Fire Rescue can assign three firefighters per shift for all three shifts in a 24-hour period.
That additional $43,500 will be applied to the remainder of the contract between the city and ESD No. 3, which expires at the end of the 2022-23 fiscal year. Starting Oct. 1, 2021, ESD No. 3 has agreed to pay $244,500 to the city. The amount goes up to $249,500 on Oct. 1, 2022.
Granite Shoals City Manager Jeff Looney could not emphasize enough the importance of receiving the additional funding.
“It’s a really big deal,” he said. “We couldn’t do it without (ESD No. 3’s) support. They realize that, and we really appreciate them in regards to them giving more.”
Hiring more part-time firefighters adds $144,022 to the fire department’s projected 2020-21 budget of $863,449.
During the City Council’s next regular meeting, which is 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 8, council members will set the tax rate and the budget for the fiscal year. That meeting will be held at Council Chambers in City Hall, 2221 N. Phillips Ranch Road.
Granite Shoals now awaits word from the city of Highland Haven, which also receives fire services from Granite Shoals Fire Rescue. The original five-year contract signed between the two cities that went into effect Oct. 1, 2017, is based on the fire department having two firefighters per shift, not three.