Fire levy fails to pass
by Jeffrey Reynolds Sports Editor
By JULIA ROBERTS GOAD
The voters of Mingo County narrowly rejected a fire levy that would have funded the countys 11 fire departments.
In order to be approved, the levy had to receive 60 percent of the popular vote. However, the measure only received 57.85 percent.
The totals were 2,609 for the levy, 1,901 against.
The Mingo County Commission campaigned for the levy, hoping to raise $1 million per year for Mingo County fire departments. Commissioner David Baisden said he appreciated those who worked for the levy.
I thank those people who supported the levy, Baisden said. Now, we will have to do our best.
Ten of the countys 11 fire departments are staffed entirely by volunteers.
Dallas Toler, a volunteer fire fighter with the Delbarton Volunteer Fire Department, has been working as an emergency responder for 28 years.
People need to realize how important this is, Toler said. It is hard for these departments, they have to bum for money. If these departments close, they wont be able to get homeowners insurance, or a mortgage. Fire departments cant make it, its a shame.
Mike Tolley, chief at the Gilbert Volunteer Fire Department, said he was glad the people of the county had the opportunity to choose whether they supported the levy, but that the rejection of the levy may prove disastrous for Mingo County homeowners.
Fire departments will close, insurance rates will go through the roof, Chief Tolley said. The people of Mingo County have sealed their own fate.
Jerry Mounts, Williamson Fire Department Chief, was disappointed.
I want to thank those people who supported us, Chief Mounts said. And those who didnt, well, we will still be there to help you tomorrow.
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