E. Ky. volunteer fire department reopening

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Associated Press

Posted on March 17, 2014 at 9:02 AM

PINEVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A volunteer fire department in eastern Kentucky that closed nearly three years ago after a dispute with county officials over funding is reopening.

WYMT-TV (http://bit.ly/OvrI5S) reports an agreement on funding is close, so new leaders on the Bell County Volunteer Fire Department Board agreed to reopen the facility in the community of Arjay. A grand reopening ceremony is scheduled for March 22.

"The past is a door that's shut behind us. It no longer exists. It's just looking forward from here on out. We're excited about the future," said firefighter Bucky Shelby.

Firefighters say the move will improve response times to calls and reduce insurance rates.

"We feel confident we're going to get to terms that will protect the taxpayers in the future so some of the things that happened in the past will not happen again," said Bell County Judge-Executive Albey Brock.

Area residents were pleased with the announcement.

"We are thrilled beyond words. We need this and we are happy to have it," said Bernadine Mills who lives in Arjay.

Officials are also working to restore enough funding to reopen two other volunteer departments that closed during the dispute in 2011.

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Information from: WYMT-TV, http://www.wkyt.com/wymtnews

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