ESD No. 8 to begin strategic planning

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District to consider installing more hydrants, adopting fire code

As the Georgetown Fire Department begins implementing a four-year strategic plan, Williamson County Emergency Services District No. 8 officials are preparing to start their own planning session.

We are looking at trying to keep pace with the future growth of the city and partnering with the city of Georgetown to figure out where future fire station locations could be, ESD No. 8 President Bobby Bunte said. [The board is] working out long-range plans for the direction we want to take.

ESD No. 8 covers a large portion of the citys extraterritorial jurisdiction and contracts fire services with GFD.

The ESD priorities focus on the rural [areas outside of the city], ESD No. 8 Treasurer Bill Kelberlau said.

The ESD board will meet at Fire Station No. 5, located at 3600 D.B. Wood Road, to discuss its strategic plan Feb. 22 at 9 a.m.

Kelberlau said the planning session will focus on the ESDs service issues and capital acquisitions as well as firm up plans for the next five to 10 years, including station building and staffing as well as the possible adoption of a fire code and adding new fire hydrants to portions of the district.

Fire station property

As more homes are built in Georgetown, the districts board has been working to identify locations for additional fire stations, Bunte said.

One of the most needed is on Williams Drive. The next would be [at]Hwy. 29 and Inner Loop, he said.

The district board is considering purchasing property near Williams Drive and FM 3405 for what could eventually become Fire Station No. 6.

We are actively pursuing a contract and hope to have something within the next 90 days, he said. This is some long-range planning. Even if we did acquire that property it could be as long as two years before it is built.

Bunte said the district could also decide to start its own fire department that could staff the new station, continue with GFD or consider working with another neighboring department.

Ideally we would continue with the city to man that, he said. If we decided to start a fire department of our own, then it would be manned by ESD personnel.

Hydrant study

Kelberlau said the district has been studying installing new fire hydrants in portions of the ESD that have no hydrants.

The process has included mapping water lines to determine which ones could support a hydrant and having discussions with area water distributors, Bunte said.

Weve appropriated funds for this fire hydrant program, and we have begun partnering with GFD, Bunte said. I would expect [in late February]we should be able to determine where we could put at least 10 [hydrants]throughout our district. This spring we could have the first ones in place.

Bunte said he would like the district to install 10 to 12 hydrants a year.

Fire code

Unlike property located within the Georgetown city limits, there is no fire code governing property in the ESD, Kelberlau said.

We have discussed what it would take to adopt a fire code for the ESD, and it is still in what I would call the early talking stages of adopting that, he said. We would look at what the city is adopting as its new fire code, and we would look at adopting that in whole or a portion that would be applied to ESD 8.

City Council could consider an updated fire code in April.

Bunte said the district did not have a timeline for adopting a fire code.

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