Standoff over Hope fire contract ends with approval

The Town of Hope has agreed to a contract with its volunteer firefighters after a stalemate that has lasted longer than a year.

For most of last year, the firefighters went without any payments from the town and after a temporary agreement reached in October, the department ended up with about half of the normal amount it requests from the town.

The Town Council voted 3-2 last night to approve the contract.

Council President Clyde Compton opposed the contract and raised the most questions. Among his concerns were the parity of the money paid by the town versus the money paid by the township. The town pays more, even though most of the runs go to the township.

Compton and Councilman Greg Sims voted against the proposed contract. But after the vote was cast, Compton said he accepted the majority decision and hoped to work to improve the contract going forward. Specifically he said he was interested in hearing feedback from the town’s financial advisers, Reedy Financial Group.

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Councilman Jonathan Titus was the deciding vote. He said he was won over by the department’s efforts to be more transparent with the council on how money is spent.

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Fire Chief Randy Wood said he was happy that the department and the town have put the dispute behind them. And he was happy with all of the support the department has received in the community.

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