Call it a reluctant compromise.

Call it a reluctant compromise.
In order to expedite the process of building a new fire station for Rural Fire District No. 2 in the Arma Industrial Park, Arma City Administrator Tim Schook agreed to a shortening of the contract between the city and the RFD. After initially standing firm on a request for a 99-year deal, Schook agreed to a 30-year contract with the fire district, which the Crawford County Commission approved Monday.
But although he ultimately agreed to a shorter contract, Schook said on Wednesday that he still believes a 99-year contract, which was part of an original agreement with the RFD, would have been more beneficial to both parties.
"I told them that I still believe we have an agreement and it ought to be adhered to," Schook said of his discussions with the RFD. "I think (the 30-year contract) will not benefit the rural fire district at the end of it. I just hope that everybody, at the end of the deal, still looks out for the best interest of the public."
County Commissioner Linda Grilz was instrumental in reducing the length of the contract to 30 years. She proposed a shorter deal so as to not "obligate a commission and city to something for 100 years." Schook initially rejected her proposal, saying a long-term contract was vital to a show of commitment from both entities.
"I was never told a good reason why a longer term contract wasn't good for both parties," Schook said Wednesday, "but that's neither here nor there."
Schook said the contract length was not yet at the point of becoming a deal-breaker, but he did acknowledge that agreeing to the shorter agreement helped speed up the final process.
"It needed to get to a point of closure," he said. "I wasn't going to start spending any real money until I had some closure and definite assurance it was going to happen."
During Monday's meeting, Grilz said she's "pleased we could come to a 30-year agreement. It's too difficult to see what would happen even 30 years from now."
As terms of the contract, Arma would allow the fire district to build its station in the industrial park and Arma would pay 25 percent of the mortgage and maintenance expenses. The city also would continue to pay 100 percent of the fire district's utility costs. In turn, the fire district would share the building with the Arma Fire Department.

Andrew Nash, Morning Sun staff writer, contributed to this report.