The Lake Dallas and Hickory Creek city councils made the right decision when they voted last week to renew their five-year contracts with Corinth for fire department services.
Continuing the agreement was the prudent thing to do and should benefit residents of all three cities.
Each city council met July 26 and decided to stick with Corinth, for now. The votes followed lengthy discussions about the pros and cons of renewing their cities’ five-year interlocal agreements with Corinth for Lake Cities Fire Department services.
The current agreement was due to expire Sept. 30, and Lake Dallas and Hickory Creek officials had asked Corinth to make cuts to its proposed $4.6 million budget for the new contract period. Officials from both communities were critical of the proposed budget, calling it bloated.
Lake Dallas Mayor Tony Marino said the month-long negotiations were necessary and proved beneficial to each community under the contract, which includes Shady Shores.
The cities agreed to a $300,000 reduction from the original $4.6 million proposed contract. They also agreed to keep a vehicle replacement program, which Lake Dallas and Hickory Creek originally wanted eliminated.
Corinth will now submit the revised contract to each council to finalize the agreement.
Originally, Lake Dallas and Hickory Creek wanted to cut $600,000 from the budget, but Corinth officials felt that cutting that much would have jeopardized how well the fire department could serve the communities.
The resulting agreement appears to be an effective compromise, benefiting all cities involved. It was simply good business for Lake Dallas and Hickory Creek officials to question the original budget proposal, and Corinth officials deserve credit for agreeing to reasonable reductions to secure the needed contract renewals.
Corinth Mayor Paul Ruggiere said it was beneficial that each community renew its contract.
We agree. If Lake Dallas and Hickory Creek had chosen to opt out of their agreements, the two communities would then either have joined in creating a new fire department or each could have created its own department.
Both options would have been expensive, and it is doubtful that either could have initially matched the level of service provided by the present agreement.
As Lake Dallas City Manager Earl Berner said, it was the best decision to stick with Corinth.
“For now it’s the right choice,” he said. “We’ll take another look at it when the time comes.”