UPDATE SEP 11, 2020, 8:00 PM
According to a representative with the Turtle Creek Fire Dept., the election to increase fire dues in their district did not pass.
The election was held on Friday, Dept., 11th at the fire station. Saline County Clerk Doug Curtis, Senator Kim Hammer, and State Representative-Elect Tony Furman began counting the votes.
The measure was defeated by 54 votes. 178 no votes and 124 yes votes for a total of 302 votes. There has been no increase since 1996 and at least twice the emergency calls, according to the department representative.
PREVIOUSLY SEP 11, 2020, 10:14 AM
The Turtle Creek Fire Department will hold a special election on Friday, September 11, 2020, to enact an increase in fire protection assessment dues.
Voting will be from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the main fire station located at 5900 Hwy 67.
The TCFD Board of Directors is requesting an increase of $3.75 per month for residential property dues (an increase of $45 per year) and an increase to $150 per year for businesses.
According to the TCFD Facebook page, the primary reason the proposed increase is to improve fire protection services and subsequently lower homeowner insurance rates. The statement says the average homeowner/business owner will save considerably more than the proposed $3.75 per month on their homeowner and business insurance premiums, and also the current fee of $10 for land (up to 40 acres) with no structures will not change.
These additional funds are for the following:
- Purchase new turnout gear
- Purchase Air Packs
- Replace aging vehicles
- Replace aging equipment
- Construct an additional fire station
- Equipment costs increase approx. 4-5% each year. The last dues increase was in 1996 and the call volume was half of what it is today.
The election rules are as follows:
- All votes must be cast in person
- Property owners may cast 1 vote per PAID assessment
- The rules for this type of election are set forth by the Arkansas State Legislature, not the Fire Department. We have worked closely with the Saline County Attorney’s office to ensure compliance of the applicable rules.
- Due to Covid-19 only one person at a time will be allowed inside the classroom to vote. Remember to social distance and wear your mask.