03-02-07 Fire deparment funding in Cartwright is in question after a recent decision from city leaders. A resolution passed by the Board of Trustees would require all state and federal grant applications to go through the Board first.
Cartwright Volunteer fire department officials said they're classified as a Title 18 deparment by the state of Oklahoma. The classification means they are a stand-alone department not regulated by city government.
Firefighters were concerned after city leaders passed a resolution. They say it would put the department's funding in the town's control.
The resolution states that any future federal or state grant applications in Cartwright must go through the town government first.
Once the application is approved, it would be up to Trustees to decide how to allocate the funds.
Cartwright fire receiveds most of its funding from grants, which are meant specifically to fund fire departments. They said the town would be breaking the law by dispersing that money elsewhere.
"We're not the only one it effects," said David Bray, chairman of the Volunteer Fire board. "They way that the resolution is worded it effects everyone within the town limits that wants to apply for a grant."
Cartwright mayor Gerald Bowers said the whole situation is a misunderstanding. The Board of Trustees plans to rescind teh resolution at their meeting on March 27.
The amended resolution will only apply to town departments, not every entity in Cartwright. Since the Cartwright Volunteer Fire Department is not under town government authority, it will no longer be affected by the resolution.