Trouble in Paradise: fire department credit cards denied
Julie Ann Grosshans
PARADISE -- The town fire department has found itself in an embarrassing situation: its credit cards are being denied.
The Town Council has been having problems with the fire department and its bank, Wells Fargo, for the past couple of months. Unfortunately, things hit the fan Wednesday at the council meeting.
The fire department will be attending an Emergency Medical System (EMS) conference Nov. 14-16 in Salt Lake City. Since the credit cards are not working, it does not have the money to pay for hotel rooms, expenses such as food, or the conference fees for the four people going.
Councilwoman Nancy Lauritzen said she feels the banking problems are bad news. Because the credit cards are being denied, a $25 inactive fee is being charged to the account as well as a $50 late fee.
Mayor Lee Atwood is a little more cautious of the situation. He said it is two-fold because it he thinks it is wrong that the fire department credit cards are being denied; but it is also the department's fault a late fee is being applied.
"The due date for the bill is the 25th of each month, which can be missed if all receipts are not turned into the council by the first week," Atwood said.
The council recognized that the fire department has gotten better at turning in its receipts since department representative Neil Erickson had to pay a late fee out of his own pocket.
The council discussed the possibility of talking to the bank about moving the due date up but then decided that would not help because it all depends on the fire department turning in its receipts.
"I think any day you move it to we will still have problems," Atwood said.
To help alleviate the issue, the council decided that town recorder Amy Winn will develop an envelope system where the fire department can put its receipts the following day.
As far as the EMS conference, Erickson will pay the hotel fee on his own for now but the town will give each fire fighter going a $105 advance for food. This will allow the firefighters to spend $35 a day.
The town is still requesting the receipts from the conference be turned into the city.