For the time being Moyock's volunteer fire department will remain as so and not become a paid force as it had previously asked the county.
The fire department was hoping to merge into a paid firefighting force by July 1, when its contract with the county expires. But no funds have been budgeted in the coming fiscal year's budget to pay for the firefighters or equipment.
"They (Moyock) had sent a request in for the board of commissioners to consider that, but the board of commissioners never made a decision to go up to Moyock and put paid fire services," Currituck County Manager Dan Scanlon said last week at a budget session.
Scanlon said the Fire/EMS board was recommending that Moyock embark upon a drive to bring in more volunteer firefighters, and further this effort by rescinding a provision that limits volunteer membership to 50.
"We'd like to see that every effort be made to grow, and enhance, and make the volunteer fire department as viable as possible before we'd even entertain a decision about putting paid services up there," Scanlon said.
County officials cite several reasons for balking at going to a paid force. For starters, it would cost an estimated $1 million to $2 million a year. In addition, officials are concerned that if Moyock goes paid, other volunteer stations in Currituck would follow suit. And if all of the stations had paid firefighters, it would cost the county $20 million a year.
County Commissioner Owen Etheridge said residents' taxes would likely have to be increased to cover this amount. He said he strongly supports the advisory board's position to maintain a volunteer department in Moyock.