RURAL FIRE CHIEFS TO DISCUSS EMERGENCY SERVICE DISTRICTS

  

The chiefs of Washington County’s rural fire departments will meet next week to discuss the creation of an Emergency Service District.

The move would grant the rural departments the authority to levy a property tax which would raise money for fire protection.

The creation of such districts was approved with a constitutional amendment in 1987.

Washington County Firefighters Association president Michael Kmiec says the idea will be brought up at the meeting of the local chiefs, Wednesday.

A petition to create a district would have to be signed by at least 100 property owners, who are registered voters, then presented to the county.  Commissioners would then hold a hearing, set boundaries, and order an election.

State law caps any ESD tax at 10-cents per $100 valuation.  A district may also levy a 2-percent sales tax if approved by voters.

Districts can also bill for services provided.