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Columbia and Boone County fire calls dispute will go before judge

A judge will decide whether the Boone County Fire Protection District or the Columbia Fire Department is responsible for responding to fire calls in land annexed into the city.

The state passed a law last summer to allow the Boone County Fire District to continue collecting property tax revenue from the annexed territory after June 1, 2018, and to continue responding to fire calls in these areas.

According to court documents, Columbia Fire Chief Randy White wrote Boone County Fire Protection District Chief Scott Olsen on June 22, 2018, indicating the city would still respond to calls in the annexed land.

BCFPD is asking a judge to make a declaratory judgment in the case and decide whether the CFD or the county will respond to calls in the annexed territory.

ABC 17 News previously reported in 2015 that the city couldn’t afford to pay a fixed rate to the county to cover calls CFD couldn’t get to quickly. Over the next three years, the two organizations had almost two dozen meetings to work out a fair compensation, but no resolution was made.

Last April, the fire protection district ended its automatic aid agreement with the city, which increased some response times for residents on the outskirts of the city not close to a CFD station. The fire protection district agreed to continue responding to emergency calls if requested and calls on I-70 and Highway 63.

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