Beaver Lake Fire Department Approves Measure To Increase Fees Paid To Department
PRAIRIE CREEK (KFSM) — Residents within the Beaver Lake Fire Department coverage area approved a measure to increase yearly fees paid to the department by a vote on Tuesday (July 11).
The Beaver Lake Fire Department asked for an increase the doubled the amount residents pay to the department by $75, bring the new amount to $150 annually per household. The final vote was 612 for and 206 against.
Following a failed vote in July 2016, the department laid off its only full time firefighter, that resulted in the department running on ten solely volunteer firefighters.
This will mark the first fee increase in a decade for the Beaver Lake Fire Department, which saw its service calls nearly double from 2011 to 2016, going from 285 calls to 548.
Captain Jon Wright said from July 2016 to July 2017, call times nearly doubled as well, where a call that used to take five minutes now takes nearly ten.
“That’s the difference between life and death and the saving of your property,” said Chief John Whisenant.
A fee increase will allow the department to hire two full time firefighters and replace critically important equipment.