Friday, February 3, 2023

Argyle council calls for dissolution of Argyle Volunteer Fire District

The Argyle Town Council this week approved a resolution to call for dissolution of the Argyle Volunteer Fire District.

The move comes in the wake of the recent indictment and arrest of longtime Argyle Fire Chief Mac Hohenberger, who allegedly stole nearly $500,000 from fire department payroll funding to pay for his personal credit card expenses.

The Argyle council joins the Northlake Town Council and Denton County Commissioners Court in passing the resolution, which calls for the absorption of the AVFD into Denton County Emergency Services District No. 1. Kevin Mercer, president of the AVFD board, said the AVFD’s dissolution has been in the works for a few years now, but he doesn’t know how long it’ll take to complete. The resolution also calls for an audit of the Argyle Fire District finances.

To the public, the ESD and AVFD seemed to be one and the same, especially considering the ESD went by the name Argyle Fire District until a couple years ago. But they’re separate entities, each with its own board. The ESD was established by the vote of residents in the ESD borders — including Argyle and Northlake — in 2006. Since then, the ESD has essentially only served as a taxing entities that contracts with the Argyle VFD, a nonprofit that is not governed by the county or town, to provide fire and EMS services for 42,000 southern Denton County residents. The Argyle VFD handles the payroll, and AVFD Chief Hohenberger apparently had control over that funding with little to no oversight, said Precinct 4 Commissioner Dianne Edmondson.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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