The Argyle Fire District will merge this fall with the Denton County Emergency Services District No. 1, in an effort to streamline the administrative side of the fire district.
Denton County ESD No. 1 is a political subdivision that was set up in 2006 by the Denton County Commissioners Court to provide steady funding to the Argyle FD, which serve the towns of Argyle, Bartonville, Copper Canyon, Draper, Northlake, as well as Lantana and unincorporated southern Denton County, a total of 65 square miles.
The fire district has grown a lot since the establishment of the ESD. Before then, the Argyle Volunteer Fire District had less than half the staff it has now, and most of them were part-time firefighters.
It now has three fire stations (one in Lantana, one in Argyle and one in Northlake), 51 full-time firefighters and receives about 250-260 calls per month. The tax rate is 10 cents per $100 valuation within the ESD boundaries. Lantana pays a negotiated rate through its homeowners association.
Argyle Fire Chief Mac Hohenberger said for residents, the only noticeable change is a new name on the fire equipment and uniforms.
“The citizens won’t see a difference in the level of service,” Hohenberger said. “The ESD has pretty much been in charge since 2006 anyway.”
It was always the original plan that the ESD and AFD would merge, but that “didn’t happen as quickly as we wanted it to,” Hohenberger said. The new name is better because “it doesn’t give recognition to one town it services over the others,” he added.
Hohenberger said some equipment may be allowed to wear out before it is replaced with the new name.
The other major change, Hohenberger said, is that the Argyle Fire District will no longer have a board of directors, so now the fire administrators will only have to answer to one board, the ESD board, which is made up of President Jim Carter, VP Jay Haynes, Secretary Steve Harris, Treasurer Jon Donahue and Assistant Treasurer Clifford Travis.
The AFD board held its final board meeting in late September.
The merger was scheduled for Oct. 1, but the employees will remain Argyle FD employees until Jan. 1, to simplify taxes.
Learn more about ESD No. 1 at www.argylefire.com.