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Area needs to put fires out together

The flames of discord over Natchez-Adams County fire protection were mostly snuffed out at the 11th hour late September 2012.

City officials wanted more money from Adams County. Adams County wanted more protection for their dollars.

As both entities closed in on the start of a new fiscal year, taxpayers were preparing to be burned from the fallout.

The county planned to pull its annual payment of more than $600,000 in funding to the Natchez Fire Department for county service.

For its part the city would almost certainly have had to slash the Natchez Fire Department to make up for the lost money.

Cool water doused the hot topic after weeks of back-and-forth debate between the Natchez Mayor and Board of Aldermen and the Adams County Board of Supervisors.

At the time, both sides vowed to form a city-county fire commission to hammer out a future plan that worked best for all.

The goal, as we understood it, was to promote communication and avoid the last-minute threats to break ties with one another — last year’s spat was not the first between the city and county over fire protection.

Last week, Adams County officials began moving ahead with plans to revamp county fire protection.

The efforts are appreciated, since a new fiscal year for the City of Natchez and Adams County is just around the corner and any significant changes to county fire protection will take lots of time to accomplish.

It’s unclear to us, however, how involved or uninvolved the City of Natchez may be in the process.

For our community to get the best bang for its buck, city and county officials need to work together to create a fire protection system that works best for all citizens.

We hope that’s still the plan. If not, taxpayers will suffer in the end.