Council, NNSA close to deal on fire services

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By Jennifer Garcia

An agreement to provide fire department services for Los Alamos National Laboratory and Los Alamos County may have passed a hurdle at Tuesday night’s County Council meeting held at the White Rock Town Hall.

County Administrator Max Baker presented a motion to council, which would authorize him to sign on behalf of the county and accept a financial assistance award from the National Nuclear Security Administration for a cooperative agreement to provide fire department services for the protection of Los Alamos National Laboratory and Los Alamos County with a county cost share not to exceed $17.8 million net total aggregate for five years.

“It’s a financial assistance agreement,” County Attorney Mary McInerny said. “Think of it as an award or grant. The term is five years, which will limit the amount of the cooperative agreement. Another (agreement) can be made at the end of five years.”

Council Chair Jim Hall moved to approve the motion to allow Baker to sign on behalf of the county. Councilor Frances Berting seconded the motion. After a vote, the motion was passed 5-0.

County staff is finalizing negotiations of elements of the cooperative agreement with NNSA and is expected to complete all negotiations by the end of the current federal fiscal year, Sept. 30.

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