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Tigua tribe now required to pay for emergency services
By: Gina Benitez
SOCORRO, Texas -- The Tigua Tribe has been told it has nine months to get a fire department together.
Currently, El Paso County's Emergency Services District provides emergency services to the Tiguas at taxpayer expense.
Now, that will change.
The item was voted on last night.
The ESD No. 2 provides emergency services to county areas not served by El Paso -- like Clint, Fabens and Socorro.
In the weekly board meeting, Bill Adler the president for ESD No. 2, said the decision was made for a few reasons.
The district is trying to tighten up its finances and the Tiguas don't pay property taxes.
So the tribe is receiving free services at the expense of other taxpayers.
The tribe already has a truck it purchased from the city and a building for its department.
"We've had a volunteer fire department in the past. It sort of faded away so we're trying to reestablish it. But we need to recruit people, we need to train them, and start working on that," said Carlos Hisa, lieutenant governor for the Ysleta Del Pueblo tribe.
"We're going to have to figure out a reasonable amount to charge if they don't have their fire department in place by that time. If they do have their fire department in place, then it'll be a mutual aid agreement where we'll go in there and help them out and if we have a call they'll come help us out," said Bill Adler, president of the Emergency Services No. 2.
Hisa tells told KFOX 14 nine months is likely not enough time and training alone could take at least six months.