BROOKSHIRE, Texas --
Several insiders said a city is running on empty because of unpaid fuel bills.
According to multiple sources, the fire department in Brookshire has not been able to buy fuel for the fire trucks because of financial issues.
Many residents said they are worried that the unpaid bills are compromising the fire department's ability to protect the city.
"They say I should not speak to you or anybody else; that I should keep it all internal," said Paul Long, a resident and veteran firefighter.
Long said the city has been running dangerously low on gas since July. He also said credit cards provided by the city to purchase fuel for the trucks at a particular gas station have not been working.
"I put the card in, punched the driver code," Long said. "It just pops up on the screen that the card is rejected."
Long said that he's been trying to get city leader, particularly Mayor Joey Vaughn, to address the issue for months, but he can't get a straight answer.
"(Vaughn) refuses to return phone calls," Long said.
City Council member Jimmy Sanders said the same thing happened when he asked Vaughn why the city can't pay its fuel bills on time.
"To get answers from him is very difficult," Sanders said. "But as a council member, I am privy to the actual information I need."
Sanders said that information shows that nearly every department in the city was experiencing the same problem.
"The checks aren't leaving City Hall," Sanders said. "We have creditors constantly waiting for money."
KPRC Local 2 stopped by City Hall and called and emailed Vaughn for comment, but was not able to locate him.
The next City Council meeting to address the problem will be held Oct. 20. It is open to the public.
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