Federal government one year late paying Apache Junction Fire - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Federal government one year late paying Apache Junction Fire

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APACHE JUNCTION, Ariz. -

The Apache Junction Fire Department is wondering where their money is. They pitched in and helped the federal government battle wildfires.

But that was a year ago, and the feds never paid back the quarter-million bucks Apache Junction spent battling the smoke and flames.

When there's a wildfire, firefighters from all over do their part to beat back the flames. Over the last year, the Apache Junction Fire Department sent firefighters and equipment out of state to New Mexico to provide support -- running up a bill in the process.

"Right now we are owed just a little over $258,000 for fires we fought in 2012," said David Montgomery of the Apache Junction Fire Department.

But months rolled by and the federal government didn't pay Apache Junction back.

"Well certainly you would like to get paid every two weeks just like you do at your job but this is something we do every year."

But this snafu has not stopped Apache Junction from chipping in to help the federal government fight fires. Right now the department has four firefighters in New Mexico fighting a wildfire

But now, finally, help is on the way. The Arizona State Forestry Division has been in touch with the feds. Spokesman David Geyer said: "We received payment of $117,000 last week. That should be in the mail for them shortly. We are in communication with our federal partners and expect to receive most of the rest of the money by the end of the month."

So for Apache Junction, as they say, the check is in the mail.

Why the delay in getting paid? The Arizona State Forestry Division says the feds upgraded their computer software and had trouble getting the new system to work, hence the delay.

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