Zetus OK’d for new protection district

Published 6:00 am Friday, February 2, 2007

Some homeowners in the Zetus community will see lower fireinsurance premiums this year following designation of a fireprotection district in the area, state Insurance CommissionerGeorge Dale said Thursday.

Dale said the Mississippi State Ratings Bureau had assigned theZetus Volunteer Fire Department a Class Nine for its new fireprotection grading district. The new classification, an improvementover Class 10 status, was effective Jan. 25.

“That will represent about a 15 percent reduction in fireinsurance in the Zetus Fire Protection District,” Dale saidThursday.

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Dale said homeowners in the district will see the lowerinsurance rates when their policies come up for renewal.

The classification set by the ratings bureau was based on areview of equipment, personnel, response time and other fireprotection factors.

“This shows, with a community working together with the supportof the supervisors and all the fire department personnel, what canbe accomplished,” Dale said.

Zetus Volunteer Fire Department Chief Dale Anding said the firerating improvement was the culmination of a five-year effort by thedepartment and county officials.

The addition of a 2007 Ford 1,000 gallon pumper in November andthe acquisition of new turnout gear, hoses and nozzles and airpacks in the past few years were crucial to the lower designation,he said.

The Lincoln County Rural Water Association also played a keyrole, Anding said. Although not directly related to the fireprotection district, the water association ran a new water linedown Zetus Road and installed a water tank at the intersection ofZetus Road and Jackson-Liberty Drive.

The water association then helped the department in securing andhydrants along the Zetus Road line, he said.

“That helped us a lot in our water capability to fight housefires,” Anding said.

Clifford Galey, Lincoln County fire coordinator, agreed.

“It’s not an easy thing to do, but with our new truck and thefire hydrants we were able to get it done,” he said.

Anding said the department ordered signs today that will beposted to delineate the borders of the new district to helpresidents determine if they live within the boundaries and willbenefit from the new rating.

“We hope to get them down in a couple of weeks,” Anding said.”We’ll do that as soon as they come in.”

The chief estimated the fire protection district includes allproperty within a radius of five road miles from the fire stationon Watts Lane.

“That’s a very rough estimate,” he said. “The lawyers went bythe section lines when they drew up the boundaries.”

Hog Chain Volunteer Fire Department may also be close to adecrease in rating, Galey said. Firefighters have completed theirpaperwork and are waiting on an inspection from the ratings bureauto determine their eligibility for a lower designation.

In Bogue Chitto, the fire department is working to complete alegal description defining its fire protection area. Once that iscompleted, Galey said, the board of supervisors must approve itbefore it can be submitted to the ratings bureau for aninspection.

DAILY LEADER Staff Writer Scott Tynes contributed to thisreport.