Mutual fire agreement between Natchez, Vidalia discussed

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, October 10, 2018


VIDALIA — Vidalia aldermen, Tuesday night, discussed a possible mutual aid fire agreement between the Vidalia and Natchez fire departments.

The Vidalia Board of Aldermen passed a resolution 4-0 with alderman Triand McCoy absent during Tuesday’s meeting to investigate and enter negotiations with the City of Natchez regarding fire services.

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The possibility of a mutual aid agreement between the two entities was brought up in a previous meeting of the Natchez Board of Aldermen soon after the Prentiss Club building caught fire last month in downtown Natchez.

Natchez is seeking a replacement for its outdated ladder truck that is not compliant with the Mississippi fire-rating bureau. Vidalia fire chief Johnny Evans said the agreement would allow Vidalia’s ladder truck to be used by Natchez on a temporary basis while Natchez could provide equipment and extra manpower to Vidalia as needed.

“(Natchez’s) ladder truck is an old ladder truck,” Evans said. “However, they’ve already looked into purchasing a new one. They’ll be able to help us far more than we could help them.”

Natchez and Vidalia officials raised questions regarding whether the fire services could legally cross state lines.

“There was a question of insurance and a question of legality,” said Vidalia Mayor Buz Craft during Tuesday’s meeting. “Those questions have been answered.”

The Vidalia town attorney George Murray said he could find no language in the laws that would prohibit a mutual aid agreement between states while town clerk Jay Laysone said the town’s insurance would continue to cover them from both sides of the river.

In other matters during Tuesday’s meeting of the Vidalia Board of Aldermen, by a vote of 4-0, the board approved:

4An occupational license application for a new wedding supply store.

4Outdoor sign applications for Dollar Tree, Walmart and Bar Fitness Center.

4Advertisement and sale of surplus vehicles and equipment in the Vidalia Police and street departments.