Bank releases funds back to Ben Wheeler VFD as community rallies in support

Bank releases funds back to Ben Wheeler VFD as community rallies in support
Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 6:34 PM CST
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Ben Wheeler, Texas (KLTV) - Following the split between the Ben Wheeler Volunteer Fire Department and their Board of Directors, the VFD’s accounts were frozen.

But after last week’s report, the bank has returned all of the funds back to the department’s accounts. They are now fully operational as far as finances.

Secretary for the department, Amanda Norman, says they received lots of community support this past week.

“We appreciate all of the love and support we received from the community. A lot of people reached out and said ‘we’re here for y’all.’ Let us know what you need,” said Norman.

And according to the Fire Chief Gary Ross, local fire departments stepped up to help if needed.

He says, “They said just bring your engines over to our department and we will fill them up for you. Anything you need. We have extra radios we can loan you. So the brotherhood of the fire departments in Van Zandt County came to our rescue.”

But this VFD is not completely off the hook as there are still some loose ends to tie up. The battle continues over the financial documents. Department Captain Daniel Kranning says the board is still holding onto them and is not answering their calls to retrieve them.

“We’re a nonprofit. We’re all volunteers. There’s things we have to do legally. We have to have minutes from all of our meetings. It has to have transparency and the transparency right now, we can only provide what we have and there’s a lot of stuff missing that we have to get to our community.” said Kranning.

Norman adds, “We do hope we can you know get our paperwork, our records, any fire department equipment they may still have. We hope we can get that back so we can just move forward and keep going.”

The department says State Representative Bryan Slaton has stepped in to try and help return those documents to the VFD.