Fire district fight in Sahuarita

Posted: Updated:

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Residents in northern Sahuarita may soon be switching fire service. The Pima County board of supervisors Tuesday morning paved the way for the Green Valley fire district to move into an area currently served by the private fire service Rural Metro.

Green Valley fire trucks are already seen in some parts of Sahuarita.  Now the district is ready to expand service by annexing northern sections of town.

"It's a lot more uniform coverage.  The folks in northern Sahuarita will now get the same level of protection they have in the southern part of the town," said Chief Simon Davis from the Green Valley Fire District.

The switch has been challenged by Rural Metro, a subscription based service covering many un-incorporated areas of Pima County.

"The petition process that Green Valley fire district has submitted to the county, the entire process has been plagued with errors from the beginning," said Anne Maire Braswell from Rural Metro.

The Pima County board of supervisors had taken another look at the petition before voting Tuesday morning, three to one, approving those signatures.

"So, tomorrow morning the Green Valley fire district board will approve the annexation and then there is a 30 day window of appeal," said Fire Chief Davis.

A spokesperson for Rural Metro did not confirm whether the company will take the issue to court.

"The next step is to keep all of our options on the table," said Braswell.

Some Sahuarita residents are ambivelent about the change.

"The way i feel about it, if something isn't broke you don't fix it," said Sahuarita resident Roy Hallway.

"We've never really had a fire or anything like that," said another resident.

One resident is concerned about losing the choice of paying into service.

"Once it becomes Green Valley and they go to the regulatory commission and ask for a rate increase, more than likely they're going to get it and you don't have a whole lot of choice," said Danks.

Once the fire district board approves the annexation Wednesday, the fire chief says it will go ahead with plans to build a fire station in Sahuarita.