BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – Raleigh County Commission is seeking upcoming fire levy for 2020.
On the May 12, 2020 ballot voters will have to face a tough decision that will impact the city of Beckley Fire Department for the next four years.
“Raleigh County will make a decision whether they want to keep the fire levy or vote it down and obviously if they vote it down it’s going to affect fire service in the county,” said Raleigh Commission President, David Tolliver.
The proposed levy will change how an individual in the fire department makes purchases.
“We met with the fire chiefs from Raleigh County and one of the main reasons we met with them is they wanted to make sure that we were not going to drop the tax rate. If we dropped the rates then they would get less money. So I told them yesterday myself, and the other two commissioners we have not decided whether we are going to drop the rates or not. We have to talk to the fire coordinator and the other two commissioners to see if we going to drop it. We have to make that decision in the next couple of weeks,” said Tolliver.
The current levy helps fund operations within the City of Beckley Fire Department and 13 volunteer departments in the county.
“Needless to say I like to keep the rate the same. I’m looking to possibly creating what is called the Raleigh County Fire Protection Unit, which would be a group of paid firefighters that would assist the volunteers mainly during the daytime to where the guys currently, volunteers are out working, they may not be able to leave work. They have a structure fire, that manpower is a tremendous issue right now or lack of manpower I should say. These firefighters would be there to help in a moment notice,” said Raleigh Fire Levy Coordinator Kevin Price.
According to Price, the last levy provided $3 million for emergency service in the county.