Welcome to OnsideBuffalo - "OnSide" Buffalo Oklahoma - Buffalo Blog -of the town of Buffalo Oklahoma

Late Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson said,
"It is not the function of our government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error."

This blog is for people to share their thoughts and ideas on things of interest in this town of Buffalo Oklahoma.

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Monday, May 4, 2009

Holy Flames Batman, They're Torching OUR Pocketbooks!!

This coming Town Board meeting is heating up to be an inferno of controversy. On the agenda is the proposal to establish charges for the fire department’s responses. The “Run Fee” policy proposal tentatively has amounts ranging from $300.00 to $400.00 penciled in for ALL RESPONSES. (fires or rescue….in town or out). The fire hydrant issue has been a hot topic for quite some time and this should only add more fuel to the fire.

Because of the hydrant issue our ISO rating, that many property insurances are based on, was sitting at an 8. That undesirable ISO rating may be causing your insurance premiums to be as much as 35% to 40% higher. The ISO rating is not solely tied to the fire hydrants. However, the flow rate of these hydrants could impact the rating. If our ISO rating were to be improved to a better class, a policy holder could see substantial savings in their annual premium. Because of the disrepair of the hydrants we may loose our good ISO rate an soon may be paying higher property insurance premiums.
UPDATE: The ISO rating for Buffalo has within the last year been up graded to a 6 from an 8. Because of this new ISO rating, a sample insurance rate for a 4 bedroom house in Buffalo, the premium was reduced by 27%. A policy that used to cost $1330 per year dropped to $971. That is a saving of $359 per year on this example!!

Now our elected officials may be so proud of our fire suppressing system they may think it is fitting to charge us a fee for a response. If you don’t have all of your property insured and you can’t pay the fee what happens next. Could they put the response fee on your property taxes? If you couldn't’t pay the $300 to $400 response fee how can you pay the extra amount on your property taxes? Could the municipal government then get a tax deed on your property because you couldn't’t pay your response fee? You betcha!!

What are we getting for our city sales taxes and monthly municipal bills? The town of Buffalo has the highest possible sales tax rate in the state. The town of Buffalo has year after year carried over moneys from the previous year’s budget into the next fiscal year only to have that extra money put into CD’s. Would it have been nice if the money would have been put into the fire suppression system that we have in place to better our ISO ratings? Would it have been nice to get a break on our insurance premiums before we get scorched by the flames of these response fees? Update: Not all insurance companies have the new ISO ratings in their database and many policies may not have had their premiums adjusted, that is if they use the ISO rating at all.

And what about those who can’t afford to insure their properties? They are not going to call the fire department for help when they know they will get burned again with a bill from the town. Will people be endangering their lives and property because they know how hard it is, in this economic downturn, to keep a loaf of bread on the table let alone shell out 3 to 4 hundred bucks for a response fee?

"Honey! Run and get garden hose drug into kitchen...Skillet caught fire again!"

"Hurry every chance you get... don't want the firemen to get here first" "Can't afford Em".

Maintain the new ISO rating before setting run fees! Continue to keep the ISO rating to help us save money on our insurance premiums! Then maybe you will get more money from people pledging that savings to the Buffalo Fireman’s Association than the fees you want to charge the taxpayers of the community.


  1. I would like to state that this position, against the propose fee implementation on the residents of our town, is no reflection towards the Buffalo Volunteer Fire Department. It is excellent in every aspect. It is absolutely deserving of the necessary monetary support that it needs.

  2. IF the extra fees are charged to homeowners and business people in Buffalo won't that extra money go directly to the fire department?
    IF the fire department gets more money won't that be used to improve the fire response system?
    IF more money goes to the fire department won't that money be used for things like hydrant repairs, water flow rates, better equipment and better training?
    IF the fire response system is improved won't that change Buffalo's ISO rating from a 9 to something lower and better?
    IF the ISO rating were to get better, won't that help lower our insurance rates?
    IF IF IF IFLotsa IFSIF the Feds throw billions of OUR money at AIG, that'll fix Wall Street and the country's banking problems!
    IF the Feds give Chrysler & GM billions of OUR dollars, that'll keep them from going bankrupt and save the automobile industry!

    Money rarely goes where it's supposed to go - it rarely gets to where its needeed.

    Maybe we'll see Buffalo's trustees at a $440,000 resort trip with the AIG execs in California right after we give them OUR money!
    Extra fees and extra charges will not fix the system - it never does! People fix problems - our trustees and town manager cooperating mutually with the fire department can fix the ISO rating and can fix the hydrant problems.

    So the elderly, with no insurance, who can hardly meet the added expenses of Buffalo's recent water and sewer rate increase is going to have to come up with $300.00 if they call the fire dept. or risk losing their property?

  3. Apparently, after making a few phone calls,the Town of Beaver, the Town of Laverne, the Town of Shattuck, the Town of Gage, the Town of Ft. Supply,and the Town of Waynoka all DO NOT CHARGE a fee for inside city limits fire runs. And ONLY ONE of them CHARGES for a rural run. Several mentioned that most recieve donations towards their respective firefighter's associations.

  4. A motion passed to charge $300.00 for rural fire runs. If foam is used on a rural run that will be charged at cost plus 10%. All fire runs inside city limits to remain @ no charge.

  5. Basically nothing changed. Just a "sort of" inflation cost for the out of town runs and a written policy on foam.

    I guess my question is why didn;t they have a written policy on fees to begin with. Since there wasn't an actual "fee schedule" should anyone have been billed in the past?

    Just a thought.

  6. You mean to tell me that they were billing for rural fire runs without a written ordinance that established the amount to charge. So all of the runs billed to insurances and paid out of peoples pockets could be rebated? Where did they get this number that they have been charging everybody from? Someone pull it out of the sky? Makes you wonder if they even billed everyone the same. Oh well at least it is being addressed and corrected. Hope there isn't a class action lawsuit filed by the rural farmers that have been billed for the last umpteen years.
    And what the heck was going on when a Trustee asked their Lawyer if she had a meeting with the fire chief, which she acknowledged she had. Then when the Trustee asked the Lawyer if she would enlighten everybody she declined because of Lawyer/Client confidentiality issues. Wait a minute I thought everyone was with the same organization? This makes you wonder if there is even more to be concerned about when the Town's Lawyer won't even talk to the Trustees who contracted her services. This shouts out “Sorry you gotta be in the know and your not!”
    Nevertheless, the fees will be raised. If nobody protests, when the ordinance is presented to the board for approval, that should be the end of it.