County OKs expanded fire districts
Published 9:59 am Friday, July 1, 2016
Thanks to the approval of the expansion of several Warren County fire districts, local residents could save thousands of dollars on their homeowners insurance.
At Thursday’s meeting, the Warren County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to expand the Culkin Fire Protection, Fisher Ferry Fire Protection and Bovina Fire Protection districts.
“The purpose is to enlarge the protection area for the citizens and increase and enhance the fire department’s ability to respond,” said Board President Richard George.
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The expanded districts, which will be effective August 1, will cover scattered areas near their existing borders that lacked the benefits of a fire protection rating, which influences homeowners insurance costs.
“We expanded to the limits the state allows, which is 5 road miles from each fire station,” Warren County Fire Service Coordinator Jerry Briggs said. “The intent was to get as many people under the fire protection rating as we could to save on insurance cost.”
Briggs said areas near Bovina Cut-off Road, the Ceres Research and Industrial Interplex near Flowers and Highway 80 would fall within the expanded districts, saving the homeowners affected by the expansion upward of 40 percent or approximately $1,000 on their homeowners insurance each year.
Though no one attended the meeting to publicly comment on the expansion, the districts were approved for expansion after the board received petitions from those who would be affected.
When presenting the motions to expand the districts, Board Attorney Blake Teller said, “public convenience and necessity require (these) expansion and the creation of the districts is economically sound.”
The expanded services will be paid for by the tax placed on those included within the fire district, George said.
“They need additional funding for the departments in order for them to be able to meet the needs of citizens in their respective districts,” he said.
Briggs added the tax is $40 per every $100,000 at which the house is valued.
“It’s a really good offset,” he said.
In other business, the board approved preliminary orders granting property tax exemption for improvements or expansions to Eaton Electric, International Paper and Ergon Biofuels LLC.