MVFD rating improves

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 13, 2008

MURFREESBORO – This fall citizens and business owners here can expect a break on their homeowner’s or business insurance bill.

At Tuesday’s Murfreesboro Town Council meeting, Public Safety Director and Police Chief Darrell Rowe announced the town’s fire rating has dropped following a State Fire Marshal’s Inspection.

A lower fire rating means a lower insurance bill for homeowners and, especially, for local businesses.

Rowe said the rating has been dropped from six to a five, meaning the town is better prepared to handle fire emergencies.

Residents should see a slight decline on their bill come September 1, while business owners will see around a 15 percent decrease on their business insurance. Local businesses will benefit more from the new rating because they have more liability when it comes to fires.

The inspection took in account several aspects of the town, including Murfreesboro Volunteer Fire Department (MVFD), the Communications Department and even how many dispatchers are staffed.

Before the inspection, the Public Works Department and MVFD worked together to test fire hydrants, several of which have been replaced. Records from the town’s past were also analyzed.

The town adding an Emergency 911 (E-911) system also helped to gain more points on the inspection.

The town’s last Fire Marshal’s inspection was in 1985.

Town Administrator Cathy Davison noted Murfreesboro is now the town with the lowest fire rating in the county.

Councilman Bill Theodorakis noted the rating would not only benefit those that live in town, but those that live within five miles of the town limits as Murfreesboro’s Rural Fire District extends within that radius.

The majority of MVFD’s calls come from outside of the town limits.

MVFD is the only volunteer fire department in Hertford County that is financially supported by a town.

The budget for MVFD for this upcoming fiscal year is $114,375 and there is a debt service of approximately $300,000 for the department coming from a new engine and a used ladder truck that was purchased.

The county allocates $24,000 to MVFD annually, though no direct tax money goes to the fire department.

“That’s why we need to get a fire district tax,” said Theodorakis in the meeting. “Not that I’m saying the people outside of town have not supported the fire department…they have.”

He continued by urging citizens to speak with the Hertford County Commissioners.

Council members have asked Davison along with Town Attorney Buddy Jones to check into the procedures as to how to establish a fire tax district.