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...about Town With Mayor Bob

4/20/2018

ISO Rating to See Reduction to Home Owners Effective April 1st.

This is a republication from earlier in March 2018. I have heard 2 questions recently. One was how the ISO came into being and the answer is that we requested the audit, responded to improvement opportunities in our system and made significant accomplishments, which lowered the rate. Secondly deals with the issue of being more than 5 miles away from a fire department and that ISO rating potentially going up by 1 point. This was driven by new ISO regulations and not as the result of our work at the City level.

The current in town ISO rating is 7 and out of town ISO rating is 9. Effective April 1, 2018 the in town rate will drop to 6 and if out of town residents live within 5 miles of a fire station those rates will be lowered from 9 to 6 as well. If you live further than 5 miles from the fire station your rates will go up to 10.

The current ISO (Insurance Services Office Inc.) rating for Decatur has been the same for over 25 years. Decatur Fire Department has now completed the first audit. 

What did your City and Decatur Volunteer Fire Department do? Utilizing the Benton County Training Association for training our Decatur Volunteer Fire Dept. training was provided. The City of Decatur scheduled and paid for outside companies to come in and do maintenance and testing on fire hydrants, fire apparatus and fire equipment. The City now has a PM (Preventative Maintenance) schedule implemented to maintain quality fire protections systems.

What does your City and Volunteer Fire Department have in place currently? Decatur Fire Department is very fortunate to have the buildings, equipment, and apparatus that many other departments in Arkansas don't have access to. We have 3 fire engines (2 city, 1 county), 1 engine/tender (from Benton County) which holds 3000 gallons of water and a large amount of equipment, 1 tender (city) which holds 1500 gallons of water and can also be used to fight brush fires, 3 brush trucks (2 Arkansas Forestry, 1 county) and 1 Light Rescue truck that has the equipment to be used for Motor Vehicle accidents, Medical Calls, Search and Rescue and Vehicle fires. Every firefighter is fitted for new gear after their 1st year on the department. All of our air packs have been purchased within the last 5 years so they are in great condition.

What is planned for the future? We are already looking to the next ISO audit and have some goals we would like to reach before 2019 when the audit will take place. This audit is hoped to see 1 more point lowered.

My desire is to build a substation west of Decatur on 102 and Mt. Zion Road area to cover the residents who are more than 5 miles from the current fire station and the plan is to see our entire Decatur Fire Department District become lower than the 9 rating. We need no more than 1 acre to build the substation on to cover 102 West toward Oklahoma. The 102 and Mt. Zion Road area is critical because the location provides what we need to accomplish this goal and will give coverage to the north, south, and west. Anyone knowing of available property in this area please call me at 479-752-3912, or email me at bobtharp@gmail.com. Donations to this Public Service Goal would be appreciated.

The fire department will continue to increase the number of firefighters that are sent to classes at local, state, and national levels so they are able to bring those skills back to the community. The county is also looking to upgrade the radio system, which will allow for better communication and is a big part of ISO.

In closing the new ISO ratings that go into effect on April 1st is great news for all of us but we as property owners must call our insurance agents reminding them of the change to enjoy cost savings on our insurances. 

Have a great day.

Working Together Decatur is Doing Awesome Things!

Mayor Bob Tharp