Elizabethton City Councilman Jeff Treadway reversed the argument during Thursday’s workshop for the Elizabethton budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.
Treadway has previously pointed out examples of how county residents are not paying their fair share for some city institutions used by both city and county residents. He said county residents make up the majority of the users of the Elizabethton/Carter County Public Library and the Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Department, yet the county provides only a small percentage of the funding to these institutions, while the city pays the lion’s share.
On Thursday, Treadway added another county budget area he saw as unfair: the county’s contribution to each of the county’s seven volunteer fire departments, while giving nothing to the city’s professional fire department.
Treadway saw this as doubly unfair.
He said some of his tax dollars were being given to such departments as the Elk Mills Volunteer Fire Department, while the county was not willing to provide any funding for the fire department that protects his own home and family.
Treadway made his remarks as the Council looked at the proposed budgets from the Elizabethton Fire Department and Elizabethton Police Department.
Fire Chief Barry Carrier said his request included only a modest increase this year, but warned he would probably need to request a new fire truck in the 2021 fiscal year. The $2,262,503 budget request is only $24,599 above this year’s budget of $2,237,904.
Police Chief Jason Shaw’s budget request is $4,415,041. That is an increase of $275,254 above this year’s budget of $4,139,787.