Smith County ESD 2 pays off $6 million loan

Smith County ESD 2 pays off $6 million loan

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - It's been a long journey for the Smith County Emergency Services District 2.

"They took the loan out approximately six years ago," fire chief of Smith County ESD 2 Terry Rozell said.  

After 11 fire departments took out separate loans to restore and replace items within their departments, ESD 2 decided to consolidate everything to equal one $6 million loan.

"That allowed us to pay the entirety of the loan off quicker than if we had paid off loans for each department," Rozell said.

This freed up a $1 million for next year's budget.

"Our long-range planning committee is Arp fire station, Flint fire station and an administration building," Rozell said.

Rozell says an increase in staff has left them with cramped conditions inside their rented building and the department is in dire need of a new administration building.

"We have pretty much outgrown this building and we are looking to make it more efficient," Rozell said.

As for the fire stations, Flint-Gresham Volunteer Fire Department needs a new building because of electrical problems and the Arp Volunteer Fire Department has a number of problems.

"We don't have a kitchen, we don't have a dayroom for the guys to sit in here and wait on the calls," Arp volunteer fire chief Lester Arnold said.

In addition to safety hazards when leaving the station.

"When we pull out, you're immediately on Highway 135, which is the main road through town," Arnold said. "You have to block traffic and it's just a hazard you're so close to the 4-way, and this is a very busy road here."

The new stations are expected to improve response time and further assist future development within the department.

"Everybody in this community is paying their taxes," Arnold said. "They need to see where its being spent".

Rozell says they will not break ground on new stations anytime soon, but plans are being made. He hopes to make progress on at least one project within the next couple of years.

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