Voters who live in Chaneyville Fire Protection District 7 will be asked to pass a new 10-year, 10-mill property tax during the Nov. 19 general election.
Early voting in the statewide election starts Saturday and goes through Nov. 12.
Fire Chief Mark Strickland said the new tax is expected to generate $60,000 a year to help pay for the operation and maintenance of the mostly volunteer fire district in the northern part of East Baton Rouge Parish.
“Our fire district is growing,” Strickland said. “As a result, we need more recurring funds to keep it running.”
More specifically, Strickland said, the district needs more firefighters, more equipment and more fire stations.
The district has a part-time, salaried chief, 15 unpaid volunteers and four paid contract firefighters, said Strickland, who came aboard as chief in 2008.
With those employees, the district is able to have one firefighter at the district’s station 24 hours a day Monday through Friday and for 12 hours a day on weekends, he said.
Strickland said he has purchased property on which he would like to build a building to store equipment.
Funding for such a building is being sought from the Chaneyville Mayor’s Office, Strickland said.
Other funding sources for Chaneyville Fire Protection District 7 include a 10-mill property tax and a $32 per structure annual fire protection fee, Strickland said.
Voters approved the 10-mill property tax in 2009 and renewed the $32 per structure annual fire protection fee last year, he said.
Both of those revenue streams bring in about $100,000 a year, the chief said.
Additional funds are sought through federal and state grants, Strickland said.
Formed in the mid-1960s, the fire district serves about 7,000 people, 55 businesses and 2,000 homes, Strickland said.
District 7 encompasses 87 square miles of the mostly rural Deerford, Tucker, Milldale and Blackwater area east of Zachary.
The district is generally bounded by the East Baton Rouge-East Feliciana parish line to the north; La. 67 to the west; Joor Road and beyond Reames Road to the east; and north of Dyer Road to the south.
In September, District 7 earned an improved public protection classification. The classification was changed from Class 7 to Class 5.
As a result, property insurance premiums for residential and commercial property owners served by the fire district decreased.