Fire Board to extend its districts
by BRIAN GRAVES Banner Staff Writer
May 14, 2014 | 1718 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Bradley County Fire Board will recommend an extension of the county’s fire districts measured from the established paid fire stations.

Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis presented the new map to the board showing the new districts will be calculated five road miles from the county’s 10 stations fully staffed by paid emergency personnel.

The area within the five-mile zone will now be referred to as “District 1.” The remaining area is more than five road miles from a paid fire station and would be referred to as “District 2.”

The recommendation of the board would exempt parcels of 200 acres or more that are cut by the new district lines. Those properties’ rates would be split and determined by the actual amount of acreage within the boundaries.

As an example, the owner of a 200-acre parcel who finds 10 percent of it now located in District 1 would see 20 acres taxed at that rate while the other 180 acres would be taxed at the District 2 rate.

Davis said the proposed maps show “very little space left” outside of the designated districts.

“Bradley County is covered well with the stations we have,” Davis said.

The mayor said current rates will not be increased, but those who find themselves inside the new borders will see their rates adjusted to the current “inside” rate.

Davis said that would be no more than a nickel increase (approximately 35 cents to 40 cents) for many residents who are already benefitting from better fire protection because of new stations and personnel in their areas.

The slight increase would not see them effective until the next tax rate is approved and, Davis said, set according to the new district lines.

The mayor referred again to his map showing almost complete fire coverage with the great majority within five miles of either a paid or volunteer station.

“That’s why you hear me say Bradley County has the best fire protection of any county around,” Davis said. “You find me another county that can show you a map like that anywhere. We ought to be pretty proud of that.”

The board’s recommendation will have to be approved by the full Commission before June 1 for the new districts to be formally established.