Feedback kills bill putting free equipment at risk

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Butterfield FD happy business with MDC, Share Your Harvest will go on

A bill in the Missouri Senate recently threatened to prevent the City of Butterfield Fire Department from receiving surplus equipment free of charge from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), and put an end to the Share Your Harvest program, which allows wild game meat such as deer meat to be donated to food pantries throughout the state for needy families.

Bill No. 337, which was dropped near the end of the last legislative session, would have stopped the MDC from doing business with non-profit organizations like fire departments or those such as the Share Your Harvest program.

The Butterfield Fire Department has received surplus equipment such as hoses, shovels, trucks and other equipment free of charge from the MDC, for years, which donated it. Through the use of social media, the department urged residents to email their local senators and ask them to stop the bill, as it would hurt fire departments around the state and cost them thousands of dollars more each year to purchase the equipment that has been donated in the past.

"The bill got squashed," said Tommy Ray, Butterfield fire department chief. ""It never even made it to the floor. I'm happy it's no longer in effect. It would have hurt a lot of fire departments.

"A lot of fire departments in the state rely on the free surplus equipment that the MDC gives us. A lot of people through the whole state found out about it and complained and the bill was dropped.

Ray said the Share Your Harvest program is beneficial because excess meat can be shared. When someone hits a deer for instance, the MDC can donate the meat to a food pantry through the program, verses being wasted.

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