Some of the Union fire district is now rated for insurance purposes as level 10--which means homeowners there pay the highest insurance premiums. Only about 19% of the district is currently rated 5 or 6, the rating that gets the best insurance rates.
The fire department asked Lincoln County Commissioners for a fire district tax increase last year--saying they would use the money to build two new fire stations: a new main station at the intersection of Reepsville and Leatherman roads and a second station near Daniels Lutheran Church.
The department broke ground March 2nd for that new main station.
The increase in the fire tax from nine cents per hundred dollars valuation to 12.5 cents will be more than offset for most homeowners by a decrease in their homeowners insurance premiums once the new stations are completed and the district gets a new rating. The new stations will also improve response time for most of the district.
Two other departments, Denver and East Lincoln, asked for--and got--an increase in their district tax last year. Denver, which operates multiple stations, wanted to take care of some overdue improvements including repaving at the main station location on Highway 16. East Lincoln wanted the money to help it pay for some of its paid personnel. The department has long been seen as a training ground for Charlotte, which is able to pay much more. It was hoped that an increase in pay and money for more training would help improve the department's ability to get and keep more firefighters.
This year, three other departments are asking for an increase. Boger City has asked to increase its 9.99 cents rate to 10.5 cents. Crouse wants to increase from 6.4 cents to 8.6. North 321 wants to increase from 4 cents to 7 cents.
County Commissioners will consider those requests and others as they work on the 2018-2019 budget. Another budget workshop session has been scheduled for March 22nd.
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