The Newburg Board of Aldermen voted unanimously Wednesday to turn over all fire and emergency response services within Newburg to the nearby Doolittle Rural Fire Protection District.
"The decision was an economic one," said Newburg Mayor James Poucher.
While the Newburg Fire Department is an all-volunteer staff, the mayor noted that it is quite expensive to maintain the equipment, pay for fuel and keep insurance.
According to City Clerk Phyllis Harris, the city spends about $18,000 to $21,000 on the fire department annually.
"It's eating our pockets up. We don't have sales tax like we used to have," Harris said.
Under the agreements of the contract, the Doolittle Rural Fire Protection District will cover all fire and emergency services in Newburg. The City of Newburg will pay the district $350 a month for coverage.
That means Newburg will only spend $4,200 on fire services annually.
Poucher and several Newburg aldermen attended the Doolittle Rural Fire Protection District Board of Directors regular meeting Tuesday and brought the issue up.
The board then met Wednesday in a previously scheduled meeting to discuss the contract as well as grants.
Poucher noted that this idea of working with the Doolittle fire department had been bounced around in the past but no specifics had been addressed.
He added that the decision has nothing to do with the qualifications of the Newburg Volunteer Fire Department.
This Monday, Sept. 30, the Newburg firefighters will meet to discuss their options.
"I do not see it making too much of a change here," noted Poucher. "The town will still be covered by good quality service."