Buckeye Valley Fire District has not seen any coronavirus financial relief
PHOENIX — The Buckeye Valley Fire District has not received any federal finical assistance connected to the federal coronavirus relief bill.
Mounting coronavirus costs continue to accrue for the fire district, including expenses associated with a COVID-19 response unit launched in April in hopes of better serving the community.
“It’s extremely frustrating when we see that cities and towns were given multiple millions of dollars, honestly just based on population,” Buckeye Valley Fire District Chief Mark Burdick told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday.
“And we’re being, frankly, nickeled and dimed to justify [financial need].”
Burdick submitted just over $90,000 in direct COVID-19 costs to the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military for reimbursement on June 30th.
Indirect expenses were also measured to be $194,000 since the coronavirus outbreak.
“That’s just from covering people that were sick with COVID,” he said.
“We’ve got over a dozen members that have come down with COVID — while they’re off and waiting to get cleared to come back to work it cost us a lot of money.”
Buckeye Valley Fire District has been told they do not meet the criteria for federal coronavirus relief funding.
KTAR News 92.3 FM reached out to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors for clarification.
“Maricopa County continues to have conversations with those fire districts that reach out,” a county spokesperson responded.
“To date, the county does not have a formal request from a fire district that meets the Treasury Department guidance for expending CARES Act funding.”
In order to meet guidance protocols, fire districts are expected to document their expenses in full, illustrating a direct impact their agency faced due to unprecedented COVID-19 costs.
The Buckeye Valley Fire District believes they have met the criteria.
“We have nothing built in the budget for this,” Burdick said.
“Obviously nobody was expecting this –- so we’re certainly hoping there will be some relief for fire districts,” Burdick said.
The Fire District covers approximately 200 square miles and its ambulance certificate of necessity covers approximately 2,500 square miles.