HUBERT, N.C. (WNCT) – Onslow County is deciding whether to give the Hubert Volunteer Fire Department money to continue to serve the community.
The department’s yearly funding was withheld until it can produce a certified audit.
In January, the Hubert Volunteer Fire Department failed to produce a certified 2014/2015 audit to the county, part of the requirement to receive tax-based funding.
As a result, assistant fire chief Andrew Papp said the department is now operating at a critical level, “We have enough funds to pay for fuels bills, keep our trucks on the road, very, very minimum, basic, essential needs. If we have a major repair to one of our apparatus, I don’t have the funds to repair it.”
Monday night, Onslow County commissioners will consider giving the department $36,000 to remain operational until an audit is completed.
Emergency Services Director Norman Bryson said that money will cover past due bills for July and August, “This current funding being discussed by the county commissioners tonight is to help sustain their operations to be able to get through and, you could assume, by two months in they’re looking at September.”
While the department said it will have no problem completing an audit by the new deadline, residents remain concerned about what it means for them.
“The fire department in our area is very important,” explained Dave Adams, Hubert resident. “That helps keep our fire insurance rates reasonable and with all the other taxation we have to put up with we need to have something to help us out on that.”
Chief Papp said the station needs about $1,300 per month just for utility bills.
It operates eleven trucks in the 12-mile fire district.