Decision expected Monday on fire department allocations – Davie County Enterprise Record

Decision expected Monday on allocations to firefighters

Posted at 11:16 am on Thursday, September 29, 2022

By Mike Barnhardt

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Davie County Commissioners decided during its budget process that an additional $492,557 would be available for fire and rescue funding this fiscal year.

Commissioner Benita Finney thinks the Davie County Rescue Squad should get $300,000 and nine fire departments — excluding Mocksville, Smith Grove and Advance, called ‘The Big 3’ — get $44,963 $ each.

Commissioner Terry Renegar thinks the rescue team and all fire departments should receive an equal amount – $37,889.

The board is expected to make a decision at its 6 p.m. meeting on Monday.

The other options presented were: increase the three largest departments by $55,000 collectively and allocate $32,755 each to the other nine “core” departments; or $37,889 to the nine base departments, $300,000 to the Rescue Team, and $21,222 to each of the three largest departments.

The discussion came after two fire chiefs spoke to the board saying they needed more money to operate at a minimal level, with one saying annexations of Mocksville to the north are hurting revenue of that department, as the allocations are based in part on the district’s tax base.

William R. Davie chief Jason Keeton said when Mocksville annexed SouthPoint Business Park, his department received a one-time payment of $3,600. The park, he said, brings in more than $32,000 a year in taxes. Now there is talk of more development and annexations in the area of ​​US Routes 601 N., Ijames Church and Cana.

“I’m probably the most hated person in this room right now, but I feel like it’s my job to do my best for the people I serve.”

William R. Davie receives approximately $212,000 from county fire tax, the Mocksville Fire Department receives $541,000, plus approximately $250,000 from the city.

“How can I provide the same service as the Mocksville Fire Department? I can’t, and the people I protect deserve better than that. Citizens of this county get no less in law enforcement, EMS services, or school service.

He suggested the county look for ways to stop such annexations. “Davie County is more important to me than Mocksville.”

“Our needs must also be met,” Naylor said, adding that the nine departments had not seen an increase in 15 years until the last allocation.

Both advocated an additional quarter-cent sales tax exclusively for fire departments.

Finney said Advance had its own fire tax district to raise funds, which it did not use, and that Mocksville was more of a municipal fire department. “We need to have a better deal with them,” she said of Mocksville.

Smith Grove serves Bermuda Run, but that city does not contribute funding to it, she said.

Renegar said a study commissioned by the county two years ago set $250,000 as the minimum needed to run a fire department. ” It was the goal. We need to take action because we can afford it…it’s not where we need to be, but it’s progressing. I believe we need to bring small departments to $250,000.

Commissioner Mark Jones offered to file the decision until Monday, saying he needed more time to consider options. He also said the county needs to start a more serious discussion ahead of next year’s budget, including removing the rescue team from funding from fire tax revenue.

James V. Hayes