SW Polk, Falls City to negotiate contract

FALLS CITY — The Southwestern Polk Rural Fire Protection District Board meets Monday to discuss a new agreement between the district the city of Falls City.

The current agreement, which allows the district to store equipment and respond to calls from Falls City’s station, will expire at the end of this month.

The two entities often assist each other on calls

The city and district have had a difficult time coming to agreeable terms, which is jeopardizing a partnership that has been in place for 80 years, said Falls City Mayor Terry Ungricht.

Fred Hertel, Southwestern’s fire chief, said the Southwestern Polk board could extend the current agreement or discontinue it if the two sides can’t find common ground.

The contract has already been extended once, for three months ending on Sept. 30.

If it is discontinued, Southwestern would pull its equipment from Falls City and respond to calls in the Falls City area of the district from the stations in Dallas or Rickreall, Hertel said.

Ungricht said that could affect the ISO rating, which insurance companies use to set insurance rates, for people who live in the district within five miles of the Falls City Station.

Ungricht and Falls City Fire Chief Bob Young would like to see the current agreement extended and oppose changes that would give more administrative authority to the district. They said they would prefer the work out a deal.

Hertel said that two sides met on Monday (Sept. 18) to discuss the agreement and, in his opinion, made some progress.

Monday’s meeting is at 7:30 p.m. at the Falls City Fire Station, next to the Community Center at 320 N. Main St.

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