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TEXARKANA, Ark. — Miller County's newly formed Administrative Fire Board will hold its first public meeting at 6 tonight and elect officers.

The board was formed as part of the new Rural Volunteer Fire Department handbook, which was approved last month.

The plan, which forms an emergency services district and is based on a model the Conway County Volunteer Fire Department uses, has been controversial since Miller County Judge Cathy Hardin Harrison first introduced it in the spring.

It not only puts the board in place but also eliminates all previous versions of the Miller County VFD handbook, which had been put together by the county's volunteer firefighters.

The volunteer firefighters also opposed the formation of the fire board, stating they did not need additional oversight.

Hardin Harrison said some of the departments had not turned in inventories from last year, which caused the county poor marks on the state audit and that those departments needed to be held accountable for their lack of action on the matter.

The Miller County Administrative Fire Board members are Jason Johnston for a one-year term; Penny Brennan Harris for a two-year term; Boyd Bryant for a three-year term; Steve Johnson for a four-year term; and Walter Burnett for a five-year term.

Larry Pritchett, Miller County's director of the Office of Emergency Management, stepped down from his role as fire administrator on Aug. 6. He had served in the position since the beginning of the year when he was appointed to the position by the judge.

Tonight's meeting will be held in the second floor courtroom of Miller County Courthouse, 400 Laurel St., Texarkana, Arkansas.

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