Aug. 30—HIGH POINT — A new contract with Guilford County has formalized the city's responsibility for providing a key service to unincorporated areas.
The High Point Fire Department's coverage district now officially includes a handful of residential areas just north of the city limits along Johnson Street, Sandy Ridge Road and Kendale Road.
The county will pay the city to cover these areas, which were previously served by the Colfax Fire Department.
These neighborhoods are in High Point's annexation area and surrounded by territory already in the city.
"Eventually, most of that stuff is going to come into the city anyway," Fire Chief Tommy Reid said.
The Fire Department has been covering part of this area already, along with the Deep River Fire District since 2005.
Reid said the Colfax areas now served by the city officially became part of the Deep River district in order to satisfy insurance rating requirements to be within 5 miles of a fire station.
Insurers have also raised requirements for fire hydrant coverage, which led the city last year to place a water hauling tanker at Fire Station 12 on Barrow Road. This allows the city to adequately cover rural areas where fire hydrants are sparse in order to satisfy insurance requirements, Reid said.
In addition to the new equipment, High Point already operates Fire Station 26 on Sandy Ridge Road, which serves a large rural area by mutual aid agreements with other agencies.
"Now, all those folks up there in that Deep River and Colfax area that we serve will get the same class rating as the people in the city get," Reid said.
The city is adding three new fire positions to operate Tanker 12 at a one-year cost of $153,174. The city will pay for the positions with $114,880 from its general fund reserves, as well as savings from reduced overtime expenses.
The cost in the future will be covered by additional fire tax revenue the city will receive from Guilford County as part of a new interlocal agreement.
The county this year raised the special tax that funds fire protection paid by all property owners in the Deep River Fire District from 9 to 12 cents per $100 of assessed value.
Reid said the city also stands to get new sales tax revenue from the former Colfax district that's now part of Deep River.
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