The non-vote on Monday ended a summer-long push from Weaver’s City Council to get its Fire Department into the association, which would have given the department more tax revenue and saved the city money.
Weaver fire Chief Brian Bunn said Tuesday the lack of a vote didn’t come as a surprise, but said he was still disappointed.
“I understand where they’re coming from,” Bunn said. “That’s less tax money for them, so I do understand that.”
The volunteer fire departments in Calhoun County receive money based on a formula that factors in population, or houses served, and total land area. Property tax money earmarked to the association is split evenly three ways. The first third is split evenly among the 10 departments. Another third is split based on houses served by the department, and the final third is split based on total land area covered by the department’s jurisdiction.
Weaver Mayor Wayne Willis said the system for accepting outside departments into the association is problematic, and possibly illegal.
“Whenever you have recipients that get money, and they make up a board that votes whether someone else gets money, that’s a flawed system,” Willis said. “I think there should be an impartial body making that decision.”
Willis said he thinks if Weaver were to take the association to court, the organization would have to accept the city’s fire department, but said he won’t pursue any legal action.
“That’s not how I like to do business,” he said. “It is what it is, and we’ll accept it.”
Willis said taking the association to court would also likely damage Weaver Fire Department’s standing among the other departments in the association.
The non-vote won’t affect Weaver’s budget for the fiscal year, as the fire department had already been earmarked for $25,000 into the city’s approved budget last month.
The Weaver City Council on Tuesday also announced the resignation of Doug Mooneyhan as the city’s attorney. Willis said Mooneyhan had resigned to focus on his private practice. The city hired the Anniston law firm of Merrill, Merrill, Matthews and Allen to represent it, with Ron Allen handling civil cases, and Jake Matthews handling criminal prosecution.
Staff writer Brian Anderson: 256-235-3546. On Twitter @BAnderson_Star.