SE Bullitt Fire Protection District Board approves new contract - WDRB 41 Louisville News

SE Bullitt Fire Protection District Board approves new contract with Fire Corporation

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BULLITT COUNTY, Ky. (WDRB) -- A month after embattled Southeast Bullitt Fire Chief Julius Hatfield resigns, big changes are in the works for the department.

Firefighters say they're now getting more training and two used fire engines. It's the start of new era for Southeast Bullitt Fire.

After weeks of negotiation, the SE Bullitt Fire Protection District Board voted Monday night to approve a new contract with the Fire Corporation. 

Tommy Leach, the SE Bullitt Fire Corporation Board Chairman, says it'll mean even more transparency for taxpayers. 

"Beginning on January 1st, 2017 everything will be turned over to the district board and we'll become a fire district dept," Leach said. "In the meantime, we have some surplus properties and some cash assets that are also going to be turned over to that district board in the next 30-60 days."

As it stands now, the Southeast Bullitt Fire Protection District collects the taxes -- about a million dollars a year -- and turns over basically all of the money to the Southeast Bullitt Fire Department also called the Fire Corporation for service. But in 2017, the Corporation will be dissolved.

"Through the years, one person got control of the corporation and the board now, we're fixing those issues," Leach said.

The Bullitt County Sheriff's Department says it's still investigating former Chief Julius Hatfield for insurance fraud, abuse of public trust and other charges. The FBI is also investigating.

Leach says the department is now back in the hands of firefighters as it covers 90 square miles and about 12,500 residents.

"We're going to start an auxiliary of wives and retired people in the community that will help us in times of need with coffee and hot dogs to handle all of our public relations affairs," Leach said.

The Fire Corporation Board voted 5-0 to approve the new contract agreement Tuesday night at its public meeting.  It must still be approved by a judge.

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