Gretna residents will vote Saturday on whether to renew a 5-mill property tax to help pay for the fire protection provided by the David Crockett Volunteer Fire Department.

The millage, which generates an estimated $715,000 per year, excludes the Timberlane Estates subdivision, which gets its water, sewer service and fire protection from Jefferson Parish.

The millage is one of four, totaling about 17 mills, that fund the department, which consists of four stations, 18 paid firefighters and 40 active volunteers.

Chief Michael Labruzza said the millage is necessary to maintain the current level of protection for Gretna.

“The department is functioning fine funded the way we are, but if we were to lose money, obviously we’d have to cut,” he said.

The Fire Department’s estimated operating budget for next year is $1.7 million, $1.3 million of which goes to pay the salaries and health and retirement benefits of its full-time employees.

The operating budget does not include capital expenditures for equipment.

Labruzza said the department’s equipment is in good shape, though at some point, its ladder truck will have to be replaced. Its front-line fleet consists of five pumpers, a ladder truck, a service truck and a rescue truck, while its reserves include a pumper and a ladder truck.

He said the department occasionally gets funding from federal grants for small equipment purchases, though that hasn’t happened since 2008.

“They’re harder and harder to get these days,” he said. “We got three or four of them, and then it just dried up on us.”

Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.