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ABERNANT, Ala. (WIAT) – By the end of June, the Abernant Volunteer Fire Department will no longer respond to emergency calls. Fire officials say there are several reasons that the board unanimously decided to dissolve the 501-c3. One of the major reasons is funding.
Despite the fact that the department was planning to build a new fire station, current fire chief Brian Scott says he didn’t realize how bad the fire dues collection had been going for the past few years. The department barely collected slightly more than 30% of the dues from residents who currently receive their services. Scott says the money that was collected would not be enough to operate on for much longer.
The department’s volunteer firefighters are also required to complete training each year, but out of the 7 firefighters who started the process, only 2 remain now. Scott says it’s in the community’s best interest at this point if the district dissolves, because there is not enough financial support or qualified volunteers.
Scott says the board’s attorneys are helping to sort out what will be done with the land that was acquired for the new fire station. Scott believes one solution could be to have a neighboring volunteer fire department build a third station on the site. No matter what is done with the land, neighboring volunteer departments will be covering the Abernant area after June 30th. Fire officials will meet on Thursday to discuss the new coverage areas.