During their Monday meeting, Atascosa County Commissioners Court unanimously voted to not renew their contract with the City of Pleasanton for fire protection services. The decision comes after the two entities failed to come to an agreement on their contract following Pleasanton Fire Department’s request for an additional $15,000.
“They are already receiving the highest amount of funds we offer to our bigger volunteer fire departments. It wouldn’t be fair to those VFDs if we gave Pleasanton this extra money and they don’t have the data to back them up,” said Roger Garcia, County Fire Marshal.
Garcia first presented Pleasanton FD’s request to Commissioners Court on Oct. 25 where he explained the department wanted the extra funds to hire additional personnel in the future and to compensate for the number of calls they answered. After looking at the data provided by Garcia, Commissioners denied the request for the additional funds, agreeing to give them the $32,000 they’ve received every year.
In response, the Pleasanton City Council denied the county’s offer during their Nov. 8 meeting.
The Pleasanton Express reached out to Pleasanton Fire Chief Mario Escovedo and City Manager Johnny Huizar for comment, but did not receive a response.
As a result of Commissioners Court decision, Garcia approached Commissioners Court with the decision to not renew the contract.
This decision means that Pleasanton FD is no longer on the county’s list as primary response for calls in the county. Should there be a fire just past the city limits, Pleasanton would not be the first to respond. As part of their motion, Commissioners will notify neighboring VFDs—Leming, Jourdanton, Poteet and Campbellton—to cover the affected areas. In turn, the county will compensate these VFDs for the extra areas they will be covering.
“Our goal as a county department is improvement in the community to fire services and response.
This decision did not come lightly as it’s not fair to our communities, but we will do our very best to fill this void,” said Garcia. “We have no desire to turn away assistance if Pleasanton needs it during a call. And, if needed, we will call on them for assistance, but it is up to them if they want to respond.”