The Ben Hill County Board of Commissioners have approved an agreement with the county's volunteer fire department after nearly nine months of negotiations.
The Ben Hill Volunteer Fire Department will receive an additional $10,000 per year, and will continue to operate from the six established fire departments using county owned fire equipment.
The National Fire Service Office is also evaluating the county's water system and developing a five-year plan to improve fire protection for citizens in the unincorporated areas of the county.
"I think everybody ultimately put the focus on taking care of our people, and we ended up with a contract that everyone could live with," said Frank Feild, Ben Hill County Manager.
The dispute began during annual contract renewal and discussion over equipment ownership.
The Ben Hill County manager said the five-year plan will improve the county's ISO ratings and help reduce high home owner insurance premiums for residents.
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