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Voters will decide on fire protection fee renewal

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WATSON - Thursday night the Livingston Parish Council will call for an election to renew a service charge for a fire protection district.

The $32 yearly fee generates $713,000 a year for the Livingston Parish Fire Protection District 4. District 4 covers one-third of the parish including Walker, Watson, Port Vincent and parts of Denham Springs and Satsuma.

The district uses the money to employ fire fighters and to keep equipment and fire stations up to par. Without a renewal, the area's class 5 fire rating could go up if the district's progress comes to a halt. That could lead to increased insurance rates for homeowners.

"We're not gonna shut the doors. It's not like we're going to quit responding," said District 4 spokesman Howard Ward. "It's just additional monies that we can use to make this fire department better."

Residents in the Watson area said they support paying for the service charge that has been on the books for more than 15 years.

"I don't know exactly how much the insurance rates would go up, but insurance rates go up all the time, and for it to go up even more would be pretty bad,", said resident Kenny Landry. "I mean plus I think out here we need the protection. We need the best fire department we can get."

The service charge renewal would be on the November 21 ballot.


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