Yesterday’s primary election was surrounded by many officials trying to get on the November ballot.
Among the candidates, voters had a chance to vote on propositions that would change the surrounding area. The White Hall Fire Department has seen call volumes go up and asked to form a fire district.
In that referendum, the White Hall Fire Protection District would raise area property taxes and have a tax ceiling of $175,000. The money raised will help purchase new equipment and expand its staff. Last night, the item passed 348-269.
White Hall Fire Chief Garry Sheppard says he really didn’t want to propose a tax hike but in doing so, the fire department will be able to provide a better service. Chief Sheppard breaks down the raise.
“It varies from house to house, because it’s based on value of the house and farm land is different. The average house will go up about $80. Some houses may go up $150 and there are some farm ground that will go up more because some may have 10 acres. The best part about this is it will go across the district evenly. It takes a tremendous burred off of the city because they really didn’t have the money to do it.” Sheppard explains.
Chief Sheppard talks about how he can improve the fire district with more money.
“Right off the bat, there are some tanks I need to replace and they run about $25,000. That’s on the top of the list. We need to improve the safety of the fire department. Then we could update some of the fire trucks. I’m looking forward to increasing the staff right now we have 20 people. We might be able to hire 3 to 4 more I would think. ” Shepard said.
Sheppard would like to thank the community for voting for the proposition.
“It really is a great feeling, because that has been a problem for the last 10 years. We haven’t had any extra money to grow. We were just getting by. It’s a tremendous feeling and thank the people who voted for it.” said Sheppard.
Chief Sheppard says he’s looking forward to providing a better service to the community. Better fire protection and a better EMS service.