CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Chesapeake Volunteer Fire Department could be prohibited from purchasing discounted fuel on a county contract due to an outstanding bill.
The department still owes the Kanawha Valley Regional Transportation Authority $584.41 for gasoline and diesel fuel purchased at the Marmet fueling station, said Denny Dawson, authority general manager.
The fire department has until Dec. 5 to pay the bill, Dawson said.
The transportation authority administers the fuel contract, which allows agencies to purchase gasoline and diesel fuel at a discount.
Under the contract, fire departments and law enforcement agencies can buy gas for $2.84 per gallon and diesel fuel for $3.39 per gallon.
If barred from the program, the department would have to pay regular fuel prices.
This is not the first time Chesapeake has run afoul of the authority. Last year, fire department officials failed to pay a $1,500 fuel bill.
"This is just really frustrating," Dawson said. "It's like pulling teeth to get them to pay their bills."
Until this month, the fire department owed $2,479.18 on an outstanding balance from June, Dawson said. The authority made many attempts to collect, but officials were unsuccessful for months. He said several phone calls were attempted.
"Our accounts receivable guy called and called, and he couldn't get anyone to call back," Dawson said.
He said certified letters were sent but no one at the department would sign for them.
The authority finally hand-delivered a letter on Nov. 15, Dawson said. Four days later, the fire department sent a check for $1,894.77.
An outstanding balance remains.
"We've been more than lenient," he said.