PAMELA SCOTT JOHNSON Staff Writer
March 21, 2013
WILLIAMSON — A special election will be held tomorrow to authorize or deny the Fire Department Services Levy in Mingo County. Registered voters may visit the polls between the hours of 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Votes will be tabulated by the Mingo County Commission and the Mingo County Clerk’s office following the election.
The sample ballot furnished by Mingo County Clerk, Jim Hatfield, states the following information about the fire levy:
“This is a Special Election to authorize a fire levy for the 5 fiscal years ending on July 1, 2014 – July 1, 2018 and for the purpose of necessary Fire Department Services according to the order of the Mingo County Commission entered on the 8th day of January, 2013.”
“Expenditures allowed for this levy include fire station construction, improvement and maintenance to the fire department buildings and grounds, the purchase of maintenance of fire trucks and other support vehicles and expenses related thereto; workers compensation coverage for firefighters, necessary insurance coverage for the operation of departments, emergency and communication equipment, firefighter uniforms and gear, office equipment and supplies, training and educational costs for firefighters, administrative expenses, accounting and audit expenses, departmental utilities, and expenditures to improve Mingo County fire protection and to obtain Nation Fire Protection Standards.”
“The additional levy shall be on Class I property, 2.34 cents; Class II property, 4.68 cents; Class III property, 9.36 cents; and Class IV property, 9.36 cents.”
Brian Casto, the Fire Chief of the Matewan Volunteer Fire Department who is also employed as a WV State Fire Marshal, provided information regarding the estimated cost for property owners should the levy pass. As previously stated in this article, the raise is a minimal amount of pennies on the dollar. For instance, if your yearly tax bill is in the range of $401 - $500, the increase is estimated to be in the vicinity of $16.88 - $21.10. This is based on an average of $4.22 per $100.
The levy was up for election in 2011 but failed to pass by a slim margin. A 60 percent majority of those who vote has to be in favor of the levy before it will go into effect.