A volunteer fire company and a North Carolina town have settled a contentious lawsuit with an agreement to part ways and the fire company keeping most of its $1.2 million worth of equipment.
The Cramerton Volunteer Fire Department provided fire service to the Town of Cramerton under an agreement that had been renewed annually going back fifty years. The relationship soured in 2011 while negotiating the agreement for the 2011-2012 fiscal year. The town insisted that it have the authority to hire and fire the chief, control finances, and make personnel employees of the town.
The fire company rejected the town’s demands prompting the town to demand that the fire company vacate the town-owned station. The fire company complied taking $1.2 million worth of apparatus and equipment in the process. That move prompted the town to file suit demanding the return of the taxpayer-funded equipment.
The fire company counterclaimed alleging that the town violated a 1961 agreement that conveyed the fire station to the town. They demanded reversion of title to the premises back to the fire company.
The case was settled with CVFD keeping all of the equipment, with the exception of a fire truck and rescue boat, which the company agreed to donate to Cramerton. In return, Cramerton agreed to give $48,000 to the fire department.
A joint press release stated “Both parties are excited about their new ventures and mutually regret any ill will or harsh words which resulted from the ending of their relationship… Both parties want and will pursue the best interests of the citizens of Cramerton.”
The town has formed a new municipal department, while CVFD is reported to be investigating the possibility of establishing itself in an area of the county that needs use additional firefighting services.