County Commissioners are mulling over a proposed two-year contract for an interlocal agreement between the County and the Nevada Division of Forestry for fire control on public lands.
Lincoln County Fire District chief Rick Stever gave the proposed agreement to the Commissioners asking for their review and “any corrections, questions, additions, things you want differently.” The item will be on the next Fire District meeting for discussion Feb. 16 during the Commission meeting.
He said the agreement is pretty the same as the last one.
NDF representatives are planning to attend the Commission meeting March 2 to hopefully get a final signature.
Working with NDF last summer was somewhat expensive, Stever said. “We had two wildfires that combined into one complex and our share was more than what our yearly fee was.”
He said the BLM is figuring costs a lot differently now. “If you have private land involved, whether is was the place of the origin of the fire or not, you still pay for protection on that private land. If they (BLM) call in services, equipment and resources, we still get handed a portion of that cost. It used to be if you ordered it, you paid. But now things are a potential of having some very expensive costs.”
Commissioner Paul Donohue suggested taking a very close look at the agreement and possibly creating a county resolution stating they would pay for the services that were not approved or asked for. But no action was taken on the idea.
Commission chair Kevin Phillips said he thought the new method of figuring costs “was like what faced our founding fathers of Taxation without Representation. Or, the Calvary shows up, we didn’t call them, but we have to pay for them.”
Stever said the agreement is not only pertaining to wildfires, but also any natural disaster and help NDF might be able to give on other projects. “If we didn’t have this agreement, I think such things would be something we would be paying for if we wanted their help. They have been good, because of the agreement, to help us out.”
Cost to the County is $50,000 and Donohue said, “when compared with one of the northern county’s that’s paying $4 million, it’s not bad.”