MOBILE COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) – 9,000 Mobile County residents are set to lose Mobile city fire service. Tuesday, city and fire officials met with those people to explain what their options are.
Hundreds of people showed up to hear their options on how they can be protected when the city draws back its fire service. It was a packed house.
“People are frustrated. People moved out here for a reason, I did too,” said Tom Bagwell, who lives in the area that will lose service.
The room was full of people who live in an unincorporated area of Mobile County. Demanding answers and options after a proposed reduction of city fire services.
“We’re worried about the fire protection. The insurance costs of not having it. Yes, this is not going to happen overnight, but you’ve got to consider long range. And I think, long-range, that’s where we’re going to end,” said Chris Ross, another resident.
“This was my idea because we have this hole to deal with. I want to address it now, and not wait three years from now when we have to address it,” said Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl.
The hole is from Cody Road South, past McFarland Road, toward Seven Hills. About 9,000 people and businesses could lose fire services if the city reduces its coverage to only properties inside the Mobile city limits. Which is why County Commissioner Jerry Carl wanted to start the discussion now.
“My tail feathers are smoldering back here, but I’m encouraged that people are talking about it. Look at the people who are here. This is what a community is about,” said Carl.
At the beginning of the meeting, there were 4 options: Annex into the City of Mobile, form a new city, create a new fire district, or join Seven Hills Fire District.
But, during the meeting, while answering a question from the crowd, the Seven Hills Fire Chief said, “with all due respect, we cannot handle this white area.” The white area, being the area that will lose Mobile fire services.
So by the end of the meeting, just three options. Which leaves people who moved out of Mobile into the county worried they will have no other option, but to join the city.
“I think we’re probably going to end up annexing. With the options that we’re hearing here. I don’t know what else we can do,” said Ross.
It’s now up to the citizens who live in the area to develop petitions on the options available. All of the options will require a vote.
You can look at this interactive map to see if your home or business will be affected.