SUNSET (ABC4 Utah News) – The Sunset City Fire Department is back – or is it?
The sun set on the 61 year old volunteer department on July 1st after the City Council transferred coverage to the North Davis Fire District in what they called a cost-cutting move. Neil Coker who served as Sunset Fire Chief from 2001 to 2013 says it’s actually costing the city more money.
“I think there are some on the City Council that didn’t like the Fire Department ever since they’ve been in office,” Coker told ABC4 Utah News Thursday. “And they saw an opportunity to get rid of it.”
Citizens successfully circulated a petition to get a referendum on the Sunset Fire Department’s fate on the 2019 ballot. In the meantime, the Council has resurrected the Department in name only to satisfy a city ordinance.
Some residents ABC4 Utah spoke to call this latest move “dishonest” and “deceitful”.
“They’re just trying in my opinion to skirt around the law,” Coker said.
Although the Fire Station #11 sits empty, Craig Smith, an attorney hired by the city, says the Mayor and Council were within their rights to appoint North Davis Fire Chief Mark Becraft as their Chief and call it a fire department.
“It’s not Sunset Fire Department at all,” Coker said. “It’s heartbreaking.”