County approves fire services agreement

The Warren County Commissioners approved an agreement to facilitate recruitment and public relations for local emergency services during their Wednesday morning meeting.

The agreement for web development with Insight Technologies finalizes efforts spearheaded by the Warren County Intergovernmental Cooperative (COG) to create a network among county fire departments aimed at informing the community about what services they can provide and how the community can support them.

“This is an effort that has come out of the COG to help our fire services and emergency services to develop volunteers and make the public aware of the services they provide,” Commissioner John Eggleston said. “Which are really quite a lot and they work really hard to raise money and recruit volunteers… The COG has been talking about how to improve that situation for two… three years and this is one of the programs that came out of that.”

Total cost for the project is approximately $80,000, paid for with state and local match grant funding from a number of programs.

The project is comprised of two phases, the first of which was already fully funded.

The intergovernmental cooperative is not, in itself, eligible for some of the grant funding for the project. As a result, the commissioners acted on behalf of COG to secure the funding. Since public funding was awarded to the county on the cooperative’s behalf in addition to funding from private foundations, the commissioners had to review and approve the agreement with Insight.

“I think this has been pretty well vetted out,” Commissioner John Bortz said of the agreement, citing talks with Insight on agreement language. “Is it best? No, but it certainly is better.”

“They (COG), like a lot of groups, for various reasons, are having difficulty in recruiting new members and providing services,” Eggleston said. “It’s hoped that this will, among other things, raise awareness with the public.”

The commissioners had previously tabled action to resolve issues over proprietary rights in the language of the agreement.