LIVINGSTON – Voters in seven precincts Saturday overwhelmingly approved renewal of a 10-year, 10-mil property tax to support Livingston Parish Fire District No. 2, according to unofficial results from the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office.
A total of 377 voters, or 81 percent, approved the renewal of the tax, with all seven precincts reporting.
30 of the 38 ballots submitted in the early voting supported renewal of the tax.
The millage passed despite an anemic 8.3 percent turnout.
“I’m extremely grateful for the community support of our fire department,” District 2 Fire Chief Brian Drury said. “An eighty-one percent vote to renew is extremely humbling.”
Drury and his firefighters – both paid volunteers - spent more than a month walking door-to-door to ask support of the millage, which funnels approximately $300,000 to the operation of the department.
They also did phone notification the day voters went to the polls.
“Some of them didn’t even realize we had an election today,” Drury said. “But we had a lot of compliments from the people we called, which brought us some assurance.”
Fire District 2 covers 144 square miles including Springfield, Killian, Colyell Landing and all waterways within the area.
The department answered 700 calls in 2017. Seventy-two percent of those calls involved medical emergencies, according to Drury.
Payroll accounts for approximately $65,000 of the annual revenue the tax generates, and insurance totals to around $60,000 according to Drury. The paid workforce consists of seven part-time firefighters, including the chief.
A first-responder is on duty seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., he said. Thirty volunteers also work with the department.
The insurance covers liability, workers compensation, equipment replacement and coverage of the fire stations in the district.
Rescue gear also accounts for a chunk of the revenue. The fire district must replace the gear every 10 years.
The department also responds to car accidents, trauma cases, boating accidents and hazardous material incidents.
The department also works standby at the Springfield High school football games, offers fire prevention classes at the area schools.