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Prairieville firefighters want new tax for more stations

4 years ago November 09, 2010 Nov 9, 2010 Tuesday, November 09 2010 Tuesday, November 09, 2010 10:01:00 AM CST in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Russell Jones, Stephanie Ryan

GONZALES – Firefighters in Ascension Parish say they need another property tax increase to pay for more firefighters, trucks and stations in the Prairieville area.

Chief Mark Stewart is asking for a 10-mill increase to be put on the April ballot to fund expansion for Fire District No. 3.

That's in addition to the 10-mill tax passed in 2004 to move the district away from being a volunteer fire district. That tax runs until 2014.

The new tax would bring in about $1.5 million each year starting in 2011.

Stewart says his department has seen more growth than any other part of the parish. The fire rating was bumped up to a 4 from a 5, but his station is getting about 1700 calls a week, up from a couple hundred just a few years ago.

To keep up with the influx, Stewart says the department will need to build 4 new fire stations.

The strategic planning committee meets on the 29th to talk about it.

Stewart wants them to put the issue on April's ballot.

Stephanie Ryan is talking to officials about this latest tax request, and voters about their reaction.  She’ll have the latest starting on News 2 at 4.

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