approved the new Chicamacomico Fire Insurance District, as well as a
contract with the Chicamacomico Banks Fire Department to provide
service in the Salvo Fire District, at the May 15 Dare County Board of
Commissioners (BOC) meeting.
This action follows a presentation to the Board
earlier this year regarding the merger of the two departments to
enhance fire protection services for the communities of Rodanthe,
Waves, and Salvo. At the February 20th presentation, Mike Daugherty,
Chief of the Chicamacomico VFD, outlined several reasons why the merger
was beneficial to the tri-villages community.
“The population of the three villages is between
450-500 people, and to draw a membership of 40 firefighters plus a
board out of that small of a population is difficult,” he said. “By
merging, we bring that minimum number down to 28 members, plus the
He also noted that there would be community-wide
financial benefits as well. Currently, the Chicamacomico Banks fire
department has an insurance rating of 6, while the Salvo has an
insurance rating of 9. The lower the rating, the better the rates, and
once the merger occurs, all tri-village towns will collectively enjoy
the lower rating, resulting in a decrease in insurance.
“And after combining, a year later, we would get
re-rated [for insurance,]” added Daugherty at the February
presentation. “With our combined equipment and resources, we should be
able to drop our rating down hopefully one more slot, which would be
lower insurance payments in all three villages… A lot of people’s
wallets would feel much better about that.”
The merger process has been underway for a couple
of years and was approved at the annual meeting for the Chicamacomico
Banks Volunteer Fire Department last month. “As you know, the
Chicamacomico and Salvo Fire Departments have been in the process of
their merger… this is one more step towards that [end goal],” said
County Manager Bobby Outten at the May 15 meeting.
The temporary contract allows the Chicamacomico
Fire Department to provide service in the Salvo fire tax district, and
the contract runs until June 2018. “This is a requirement for the
department of insurance, [and the] state Fire Marshal did ask for a
new contract to be written to take care of coverage in that district,”
explained Steve Kovacs, Dare County Fire Marshal.
“What this contract will do is take the Salvo
fire district tax and pay it to Chicamacomico, and [in return], they
are agreeing to provide fire protection services in Salvo now,” added
The contract was unanimously approved, as was the
second measure towards the merger – the creation of a new Chicamacomico
Fire Insurance District.
“This is what we’ve really been working for
through the merge,” said Kovacs. “In order to get the merge completed,
one of the things we need to do is go ahead and refile a new insurance
district with the department of insurance, and that is what we have
The new tax district encompasses all private land
from the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge to the north, to the Cape
Hatteras National Seashore to the south of the tri-villages.
“This is probably one of the last steps that we
need to take place in order to file this,” added Kovacs. “The fire
department itself has several items that they have to take care of, but
as far as the board is concerned, this is what we have to do. As soon
as this is approved, I’ll be sending this straight to the department of
The Board of Commissioners’ next regular meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 5 at 9:00 a.m.