HAUBSTADT — Budget talks for the town of Haubstadt resulted in homework for fire chief Eric Adamson.

Haubstadt Town Council members asked Adamson to reach out to ISO, the company that provides fire department ratings, to help guide some of the next moves for the department.

During Wednesday's special meeting on the 2020 salary and budget, clerk-treasurer Bonnie Wagner said she didn't change much for the fire department's budget because she was not sure what changes might be made internally.

The possibility of hiring some full-time employees has been previously discussed, as well as the purchase of a new vehicle.

The decision for a new vehicle could be impacted by how it would affect the ISO rating, which Adamson said is currently 6 inside of town and 9 for outside. The rating is on a scale from 10 to 1 and communities aim for as a low as possible. Ratings are based on a variety of elements that make up a department such as equipment and response time. The rating can impact residents home insurance rates.

"What I really like to do is get all our equipment up to snuff, replacing the trucks," he said, "and then start worrying about hiring. Because our trucks, we've got one that's 20 years old."

The board asked Adamson to reach out to ISO and see if they could give some insight into how different purchases could impact the town rating, and even possibly come down to do their inspection prior to the scheduled time.

Board member Chad Wallis said they'd like to know some information that could help them maximize the impact of a new purchase.

"We want to get the most benefit out of our dollars," he said.

Board president Kenny Reinbrecht said answers would help guide not only the next possible purchase, but potential full-time hires as well.

"We owe it to the people of this community to keep their insurance rates as low as we can," Reinbrecht said.

Reinbrecht told Adamson he would like to see ISO get involved pretty quickly.

Adamson said he would get in touch with ISO the next day and see if Haubstadt could be moved up on the schedule. He said normally departments get ratings done every four years, but one can be requested at any time.

"We might be able to do some things to improve (after ISO visits)," he said. "Then three years down the road, call them back and have them come back in and give us another thumbs up."

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