Volunteers hope residents will vote for fire district - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Volunteers hope residents will vote for fire district

(Source: Damian Johnson/WBRC) (Source: Damian Johnson/WBRC)

An 18-year old spelunker who fell in a cave in Blount county is recovering after falling 50-feet on Monday night. Luckily, he was saved by a volunteer fire crew. But those kinds of rescues could come to an end if voters don't vote yes to establishing a fire district in western Blount county.

Assistant Fire Chief Clay Jones says that only 20-percent of the 5,500 households in the area they serve pay dues. Since the firefighters are volunteers, that fire department can't mandate people pay fire dues.

The three volunteer fire stations receive about $1,500 a month from a landfill tax, but Assistant Chief Jones says that they're just scraping by since they have to fix and maintain the trucks and equipment.

Jones says that the volunteers worked very hard to get the measure on the ballot on November 4. He says if homeowners refuse to pass the rate mandate of about $120 a year, the fire service will most likely disappear.

That could end up costing residents more, because their homeowners and renters insurance rates are likely to skyrocket.

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