No decision for Lake Worth fire rescue contract

LAKE WORTH, FL (WFLX) - It seemed to many like a never ending Lake Worth city commission meeting.

More than three hours of debate. And, in the end, there was a lot talk, but no decision on whether or not to end the city's current contract with Palm Beach County Fire Rescue and re-institute Lake Worth's own department.

"I believe, truly, if it's analyzed, that Palm Beach County Fire Rescue provides excellent service, and, economically, it makes sense to stay with us," says Chief Steve Jerauld.

The Palm Beach County Fire Rescue chief argues it would cost Lake Worth big bucks if they ditch them and re-establish city-run fire protection.

"They should stick with what works, and what works is what they have now with the county," says local resident, Ed Sherry.

The majority of voters don't understand why city officials would want to change things, arguing not only is it a money issue, they feel service could be in jeopardy.

What made this discussion about fire services even more heated was when residents were not allowed to make public comment since the decision was tabled. "I would like to be heard," says Suzanne Squires, a Lake Worth resident.

The city manager told the crowd she just wants Lake Worth to be treated like all the other 18 cities Palm Beach County Fire Rescue serves.

When the meeting wrapped, even the Lake Worth mayor couldn't offer much insight when asked why they would want to change things when it appears it will cost more.

City commissioners will meet again on June 28 and have until August 1 to let Fire Rescue know if they plan to terminate the contract. If they do, the contract would end October of next year.

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