There is a tax increase meeting tonight Little River FD residents. Proposed is in 1-cent to 1-1/2 cent increase in LRVFD taxes to increase the current revenue for the VFD. There is one full-time paid employee and the volunteers now want to be paid for their services. Current revenue from taxpayers is $148,000 per year.
Come make your voice heard. This is not the time for tax increases!
IMPORTANT: They will also be appointing three new members to the Board and the residents will be voting. I have been told nominations will be made from the floor for the conservative, non-tax raising members: Forbes, Pennell, and Collar(?). Please come get the facts for yourselves and vote for the new board members.
- Date: Monday, 6/20
- Time: 7:00pm
- Location: Oakhill School Gym, Lenoir, NC 28645
oh, how interesting….
The community packed the small room (at the fire hall) that was initially setup, so they moved the location (to the school gym). We thought it was at the gym all along. So the meeting started at 7:30. About 200 people sat in a hot, noisy gym to give a watchful eye over our tax money.
The two people began the meeting by saying they were not going to raise anyone’s taxes. We’re not. We promise. But if they were going to… it would only be a 1-cent tax, but they’re not gonna do it. But they’re not. [It was a priceless moment in stretched logic.]
The meat of the meeting 1) was election of VP, Treasurer, and 3 Directors, and they threw in an Assistant Treasurer, and 2) the new 2011-2012 Budget approval. 🙂
They read aloud the ACTUAL amounts spent 2010-2011:
$148,928 Tax revenue
57,150 Homeland security grant
13,xxx Rescue Readiness grant
2,400 house rent
$225,239.41 Total income into LRVFD
$66,666.44 Payroll ($33,000 for the Captain)
795 accounting services
Equip total $ 99,359 (includes $57K from Homeland Security)
Vehicle $ 52,377
Utilities total $ 9,458
Edu total $4,633
Misc total ____?_
$4171 checking account balance
1,635(?) Money Market account
some mention of $10,xxx remaining (??)
When asked, they said the spent all their money, but it looks to me that they have $15,000 left. I think?
Now there were numerous questions.
Some one asked, “You guys ran 292 calls all year, and other VFD’s ran 1,200. How do you justify spending $212,712?” No one answered it well, but the best answer was, “It costs a lot of money to run a FD.”
Part of the justification for paid personnel is the will clean the grounds and work on grant applications.
Grant money was thrown around and around. I spoke up and commented, “Grant money is taxpayer money. Grant money isn’t free. Instead of the money coming from our community, the money is be collected by state and federal authorities and given to us.” His response was, “Well if we don’t apply for it, then another station will.” I repeated, “It’s still taxpayer money. It’s not free money. That thinking is an entitlement mentality. I would rather pay fewer guys to fight fires.”
They elected new directors and out of all the offices being voting on, we got only one through, Lynn Pennell.
Some fireman tried to blame the county commissioners for not funding them this year….. after lots of questions. Since LRVFD received so much grant money, the gave more to Lovelady/Rhodhiss. They were also complaints about the county commissioners not giving them money after they sold some Patterson property, but it turns LRVFD received 1/3 of the money. [That seems fair to me.]
Budget items were discussed thoroughly, and the crowd didn’t seem to be convinced their budget was realistic. The County Commissioners have to approve it. It had no grant $ included, a re-financed truck saving $5000 next year (for longer payments), and much to everyone’s surprise most things will cost less next year.
After 2+ hours, it was adjourned.