Time is running out for the Chappell Hill and Meyersville Volunteer Fire Departments (VFDs) to secure public support in time for a proposed emergency services district (ESD) to go on the ballot this November. 

The proposed boundaries of the
emergency services district for the Chappell
Hill and Meyersville Volunteer Fire Departments.
The area of the ESD would align with the service
area of the two departments, not including the City
of Brenham's extraterritorial jurisdiction.

Friday is the deadline for the departments to secure at least 100 signatures on a petition to bring before county commissioners to call an election for the ESD.  Dustin Brown, Chappell Hill VFD captain and president, said they had about 55 signatures as of this (Tuesday) morning.

The ESD would become the primary source of funding for the fire departments by levying an ad valorem tax of no more than 10 cents per $100 valuation on residents who live within their service territories, not counting the City of Brenham’s extraterritorial jurisdiction. 

The departments held a pair of town halls over the past two weeks to offer the public more information and the opportunity to ask questions about the proposal.  The petition was also available for residents to sign if they supported the proposal; Brown said they had hoped to get closer to 150 signatures by the deadline.

Should Friday pass without enough signatures received, Brown said the fire departments will continue to run the way they have and will “continue to try to find ways to establish a reliable funding source.”  When asked if work would continue on an ESD proposal next year, he said, “It’s a strong possibility.”

Anyone who wishes to sign the petition can contact either of the fire departments via Facebook or email the ESD committee at  The Chappell Hill VFD will also accept signatures at the Chappell Hill Fire Station after Thursday’s Fourth of July parade.

What’s your Reaction?


  1. Has anyone checked lately to see how the call volume has increased in the last two years? Chappell Hill and Meyersville have been running constantly. With all the subdivisions coming up in the area, I foresee having fully paid staff in that area within the next five to ten years and it will take an ESD to pay for it. Don’t wait till your house burns down, do something now!

  2. Why should I be taxed simply because I live in one of these districts. If my tax dollars fund these districts and they are called for mutual aid that means my money. is being used to assist an area that doesn’t pay a dime in added taxes. Is that fair? I don’t think so!. If it was a county wide ESD effort with a lower proposed tax rate say 2 to 4% I would probably join the choir. It’s all or nothing!!

  3. The state and local fire service created this shortage to an extent by forcing volunteers to set behind a computer to collect the same training as a paid firefighter and the county also by requiring this training for vol. dept members to get kickback $ from the state back into the county fund and it doesn’t even go to the depts.
    Don’t get me wrong I’m not against training by no means drill nights were always great but the fire service is now suffering. before when we got in it was a need to help our community and give back, now its all a business and all of us old guys are forced out because we have no book skills but on the scene of some of these incidents I’ve seen these book smart guys buckle because what the book tells us doesn’t work and the old school vol farmers, business labors from all aspects of skills set shine because they think outside the box and can adjust to save life and property. It takes a well-rounded collection of skill sets and backgrounds to be a firefighter and a great dept!

  4. Steve, signing the petition does not mean it’s going to pass, it just lets the ESD get put on the ballot, so the property owners in the two fire districts can vote on it.. We pay for all other emergency services why not fire? The fire Dept’s in the county are not getting any new volunteers… so what should they do? close their doors? from what I’ve heard the county can’t fund the dept’s with the money needed to keep up with all the new rules and age requirements of the fire trucks and gear… I don’t see any loose nuts…

  5. The Meyersville Fire Dept. will have staff at the station at 7111 State Hwy 105 tonight Wednesday July 3 from 6pm to 9pm to collect signatures if anyone would like to stop by.

  6. If you sign this petition you are agreeing to a new permanent property tax on your land and home- and the creation of a new taxing entity that can also then possibly begin collecting sales tax as well. Read the law closely!

  7. washington county has 11 fire departments and represents as the washington county fire fighters association
    when only 2 of 11 departments support this esd move i believe it is a hard sell
    i know funding is always an issue.
    all the county departments depend on each other from when the need arises
    i feel this is the time to come the table together
    or wait until you can
    2 of 11 are bad odds even if you are lucky
    county tax payers are being overwhelmed by out of control property evaluations already and when you add 10 % to that it affects everyone
    i could possibly support this if were county wide but not 2 out of 11
    timing is not right !!

  8. I don’t have a dog in this fight but if you sign the paper better check the loose nut behind the steering wheel.

    1. I hope they don’t get the signatures…People are tired of tax based programs that are marketed as so important and reasonably priced…then a short time later they find themselves saddled with over the top, very expensive programs…EMS helicopters come to mind?

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