MOUNT IDA – The Montgomery County Quorum Court passed an ordinance reinstating the Sims Fire District Monday, bringing an end to three year saga involving the Sims Volunteer Fire Department.
Ordinance Number 2022-5 passed unanimously. The ordinance repealed Ordinance Number 2019-29 which had eliminated the Sims Fire District in an effort to prevent the Sims Volunteer Fire Department from becoming a Fire Protection District.
This was the result of the Sims VFD Board of Directors presenting a petition that would change their status to a fire protection district. The move would have allowed them to collect mandatory dues through the tax collector’s office. The move was made possible by a vaguely written state law that required the quorum court to approve the petition.
Several Sims residents opposed the idea with many saying they had not been contacted about the change before it was made. In an effort to avoid approving the petition the quorum court passed ordinance number 2019-29 eliminating the fire district. While it did not disband the fire department, it did remove their territory preventing them from collecting dues.
A second board of directors was selected by Sims residents leaving the control of the fire department in limbo with two acting boards. After some time the original board of directors ceded control of the fire department to the new board of directors.
Under the new board the Sims VFD have been working toward repairing equipment and gaining certification to prepare them for the likelihood the fire district was restored.
The new ordinance repeals ordinance number 2019-29 are restores their fire district with its original boundaries.
The JPs also approved the first resolution of the year. The new resolution directs the county clerk to payroll deduct payments for AirEvac membership dues for county employees. The deductions are voluntary with no matching money from the county.
JP Mike Dobbs asked if the county could use CARES Act money to purchase a transport vehicle for the county coroner. It was indicated that they should be able to do so with the proper paperwork.
JP’s repeal 2019 ordinance, re-establishes Sims Fire Department boundaries