Public safety agencies request more funding

by Sherry Hamilton - Posted on Mar 27, 2013 - 01:27 PM

With budget discussions for the 2013-14 fiscal year beginning next month, the Mathews County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday night heard a number of requests for increases in funding.

Public safety personnel were present to support the Mathews Volunteer Fire Department and the Mathews Volunteer Rescue Squad as their spokesmen discussed the need for more financial support from the county.

Sheriff Mark Barrick said that the county will need two additional repeaters in order for public safety personnel to communicate by radio from all parts of the county. He said he didn’t have exact prices, but that he expects the two repeaters to cost in the neighborhood of $30,000 for the equipment alone, with installation costs on top of that. He said he has identified two towers that would be suitable and that, if the owners of the towers require payment for adding the repeaters, that would increase costs, as well.

Fire department

Calvin Morgan, president of the MVFD, asked for an increase in funding of $50,000 and provided figures showing that the fire department’s equipment and supply costs have increased significantly over the past few years. He said that a pager that used to cost $275 is now $435, boots that once were $50 are now $100, and bunker pants and coats are $600 and $800, respectively. It costs $2,500 to outfit one firefighter, said Morgan, and if the department followed standards that call for replacing each firefighter’s turnout gear at least every 10 years, it would cost $25,000 a year.