Livingston Fire Dept.'s struggle with lack of funding continues
LIVINGSTON - A fire engine serves two fire districts in Livingston Parish, and it's 17 years old. They have some even older.
"We've had a vehicle that is 30-something years old," Mayor David McCreary.
Livingston Town Mayor David McCreary says they need a new fire engine, but his town can't afford it.
"A fire truck is going to cost us around 450-thousand dollars," McCreary said.
The Livingston Fire District also serves Fire District 12 that covers Satsuma, where property owners pay nothing for fire protection.
"Sooner or later, it comes down to money," Chief Kirk Duffy said.
The fire chief says Livingston firefighters respond to more calls in District 12 than they do in their own area.
"Running that many more calls with the same amount of money coming in, is just not going to last," Duffy said.
If folks District 12 don't start helping out, officials in Livingston Parish say they don't know how long they will be able to continue offering them fire protection.
"Fire protection out here is adequate," resident Jackie Hayles said.
The Satsuma homeowner says he's willing to pay a little more in property taxes to have a fire department in his community.
"If it means better coverage and helps everybody insurance premiums," Hayles said.
"It's all about money. Let's face it," McCreary said.
The mayor adds that if nothing is done, the whole area is at risk of a drop in fire ratings and an increase in the cost of fire insurance.