Fire department faces power shut off for unpaid bills -

Fire department faces power shut off for unpaid bills


Firefighters at the fire station in Kinloch are worried they'll lose power because the department has not been able to pay electric bills.

Ameren Missouri sent the department a notice, dated November 15th, saying the department faces disconnection.

The bill totals $1,271.88.

Volunteer firefighter, Richard Parks, says an Ameren employee went to the station to cut off power earlier today, but did not do it after seeing the building is used as a fire station.

Tim Fox, a spokesman for Ameren Missouri, tells News 4 the power company will avoid shutting off power to a building if the action poses a public safety risk. The company says it will give the department a few more days to set up payment, but a final decision has not been made.

Kinloch, a small community near the Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, only has a few hundred residents. Many of the buildings were bought out decades ago to pave the way for the airport.

Parks says tax revenue is low and not enough to pay for the operating costs of the department.

"It scares me. This guy around the corner shouldn't have to wait for fire services or EMS services. That's what we're here for. He shouldn't have to wait," said Parks.

The department has had financial troubles before. Last year, the department sold an old fire truck to help pay an electric bill. In February, the department held a fundraiser to pay for equipment to equip a new fire truck - bought with federal grant money.

If power is shut off, Parks says residents will have to rely on neighboring departments to answer calls.


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