Ark. Chief Quits in Funding Dispute

Bonanza, Ark. --

Billy Rowe officially resigned from the Bonanza Fire Department at Tuesday's city council meeting.

Rowe said his resignation is partly to blame on how money he said is meant for the fire department is being spent.

Rowe told 40/29 that he applied for a $12,000 state grant with the intention that all the money would be used for gear on a list he created, including firefighter protective gear that's already been ordered at a cost of $9,000.

Rowe said the mayor and his administration want to spend the grant money on a fire truck loan payment and other times.

He said the loan payment and other items should be paid for out of the fire department's city fund.

"I've had my feel of an administration that's surrounded by a black cloud of deceit and dishonesty," Rowe said. "I've had my feel of that... an administration that surrounds (itself) with people who further their own agendas and not the agenda of Bonanza and the citizens that live here."

Bonanza's Mayor Rocky Heath did not want to talk on camera, but said there are no plans to spend grant money on a truck loan payment.

Heath said the grant money will be spent on equipment for the fire department, but city leaders said at the meeting that legally the grant money could be spent on truck loan payments and other fire department needs.

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