Voters Approve Increase In NEBCO Ambulance Fees; Tontitown Rejects Fire Dept. Funding

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Benton County voters narrowly approved a ballot measure Tuesday night that increases the cost of NEBCO Fire Department emergency services to Garfield, Gateway, Avoca and the Lost Bridge Community.

The measure passed 298 to 294, which increases the service fee for each household within the Northeast Benton County Fire and Emergency Medical Services area from $40 per year to $100 per year. There are 3,915 households in the NEBCO fire district, according to chief Rob Taylor.

"On a normal call, we are 20 miles from a hospital and we want to have the best possible care we can provide our citizens," Taylor said.

Meanwhile, Washington County voters in five of six precincts decided Tuesday night to fund their local fire departments. The dues amount to $50 in Lincoln, Prairie Grove-Farmington and Strickler, and $45 in Whitehouse. The dues in Morrow total $25 per year, according to the Washington County Election Commission.

Tontitown voters rejected the ballot measure 8 to 26. The measure passed in Lincoln, 19 to 7; in Morrow, 52 to 4; in Strickler, 31 to 5; in Prairie Grove-Farmington, 47-25; and in Whitehouse, 22 to 11.

The polls in the special elections closed at 7:30 p.m.