UNION, W. Va. (WVNS) — Monroe County voters decided not to renew their fire levy in the 2018 primary election.
The fire levy provides funding for all five fire departments in the county. The current levy expires in July of 2019.
Now that the levy failed, Kevin Gaford, Assistant Fire Chief at Lindside Fire Department, said many departments are left with difficult decisions.
“Without the help of the county funds it could change drastically. We’re gonna have to take more time fundraising, less training for our guys,” Galford said.
All fire departments in the county are volunteer.
Galford explained with the levy funds, departments were hoping to spend time and money recruiting.
“The days of volunteering are over. It’s hard to get people to come in and volunteer now because of the hours of training it takes, the money it takes, it’s hard for be able to work and still volunteer. All departments are down on membership right now,” Galford said.
Perhaps the thing that leaves many upset that the levy did not pass, was the fact it would not break taxpayers wallets.
“The past levy rates was set for five years. Levy rates have actually gone down a little bit, it would actually cost people less money to generate the same amount of funds,” Galford said.
Monroe County has a fire levy committee, that consists of the fire chiefs from four departments in the county. The committee will be meeting to determine the next steps, on whether or not to put the levy back on the November ballot.