After nearly 14 years of using homes and storage space to conduct official business, the Nueces County Emergency Service District No. 3 will finally be getting an office of its own.
During a Nov. 12 meeting, Nueces County Commissioners unanimously approved the agreement with the ESD that will allow the ESD to use vacant office space in Bishop. The Bishop Police Department's chief of police, Larry Lawrence, formerly used the office.
In an Oct. 6 letter to County Judge Loyd Neal, ESD No. 3 secretary Kabrina Lawrence expressed her concern about the ESD's inability to maintain its record keeping capabilities without a proper office.
"Our organization has been in operation for a little over 14 years," Lawrence wrote. "Unfortunately, we have had to use our homes for office and storage space.
"I have recently learned about the extensive record keeping that is expected from our organization, and needless to say, we can no longer function without an official designated office."
The ESD No. 3 provides fire and rescue services to the areas of Bishop, Driscoll and Petronila. Volunteer fire departments from those three towns are also included in the ESD No. 3.
Lawrence said Friday she hopes the new office will make things easier for the fire departments and rescue personnel.
"We're trying to make them more unified and have a centralized location," she said.
Lawrence added that the move would help make record keeping easier, such as monthly statements and utility bills, which is required by state law.
"We have to keep everything for a certain amount of time for auditing purposes," Lawrence said.
The ESD will pay $1 per year in annual rent to the county to use the office space. There is also no set termination date for the agreement; both parties involved, according to the agreement, will decide such a time.