Hull city council members voted Jan. 21 to increase their line item contribution to Hull’s Volunteer Fire Department from $12,000 to $14,000 for 2011 and to enter into a service agreement with the department.
The city took the additional funding from the miscellaneous line item in its budget, according to city clerk Sandra Pou.
The city has provided annual support in a similar amount to the fire department for years, but in a more casual style, with the city paying some bills for the fire department and the department paying some, with no formal agreement.
With the service agreement, the city agrees to pay the VFD equal amounts of funding, either quarterly or monthly, for the 12-month period. The contract will automatically renew, unless changes need to be made, Mayor Paul Elkins said.
He said the city will pay the VFD approximately $1,169 on a monthly basis at first, probably moving to quarterly payments as they get further along into the year.
“This puts it (VFD funding) on a very business, professional basis and should be very efficient,” Elkins said, adding that the agreement was similar to that between other cities and volunteer fire departments in the county.
Hull VFD fireman and county commissioner Mike Youngblood agreed.
“We can live with that,” Youngblood said, adding that the fire department had asked for $14,000 in funding and that he also thought the service agreement was a good idea.
The city of 160 plus residents operates on a $56,000 per year budget and recent economic downturns have affected Hull’s budget providing very little wiggle room, officials said.