Fire districts ask residents to vote 'yes' to property tax fee - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Fire districts ask residents to vote 'yes' to property tax fee

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Volunteer fire districts want "yes" votes on Tuesday. (Source: WAFF) Volunteer fire districts want "yes" votes on Tuesday. (Source: WAFF)

Five volunteer fire districts are urging residents to vote "yes" on Tuesday for the $5 monthly fee that will be assessed and paid on their property taxes.

The districts include Swearengin, Four C, Georgia Mountain, Hebron, and Waterfront Volunteer fire districts. 

Henry King with the Hebron Volunteer Fire Department said all of the money collected stays with the residents' own fire district for operational expenses. 

King said the only guaranteed monthly income they receive is a check for about $600 from the tobacco tax. King said that's about half of what they received when it was first enacted because there are fewer smokers today. 

Gas used to be $1 a gallon and those big trucks can use up a lot of gas. To make do, King said they've had to spend a lot of time doing fundraisers to keep the doors open to serve the residents. 

Coverage has also increased over the years without any additional funding. King said years ago they put out fires. Today, King said when storms come through and trees go down on roads they're the first there to remove them. 

That's also true when it comes to medical calls. King said the department now has nine medics whereas a couple years ago they had none. Swearengin is holding a community meeting Monday night at their fire hall at 7 p.m. It's located at 5120 Swearengin Road close to Grant.

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