CALCASIEU, La. (KPLC) - Voters in Ward 4 of Calcasieu Parish will choose whether to renew a sales tax for the operation of the Houston River Fire Department when they head to the polls on Nov. 16.
“This will be the second time since I’ve been the chief that we’ve asked for this renewal. So it’s been at least 20 years that we’ve been doing this,” said Fire Chief Dean Lappe.
The tax renewal proposition would aid in the operation and day-to-day upkeep of the facility.
“It takes care of the light bill, the phone bill," Lappe said. “Any bill you have at home, we have here at the fire department."
Lappe said the tax is important not only because of where the money will go but because it has a direct impact on the community. Last year, residents unanimously voted yes to a $5 million dollar bond proposal to build a new fire station as well as a substation, due to constant flooding at the current building.
“With the bond and the new construction kicking off, which has started already on our new station, if our operating millage renewal does not pass, we’re basically going to build two new stations and shut the doors on them, cause we will not have the money to operate,” Lappe said.
Lappe said in previous years the money they’ve collected estimated at $325 thousand dollars per year. The amount each homeowner pays depends on the value of their home. Homes valued at less than $75,000 are exempt from the tax.
After talking to residents in the district, it’s a price that most say they don’t mind footing the bill for.
“It is important because sometimes they’ll get to you before the others do and they’ll help you out,” said Margie Fontenot.
Lappe said they’re hoping to move out of their current building and into the new fire station sometime next summer.
Ward Four Fire Protection Dist. No. Four - 9.760 Mills Continuation - BOC - 10 Yrs.Ward Four Fire Protection District No. Four Proposition(Millage Continuation)Shall Ward Four Fire Protection District No. Four of Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, be authorized to continue, levy, and collect a maintenance tax not to exceed 9.760 mills on all property subject to taxation in the District for a period of ten (10) years from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2030, with collections from the levy of the tax estimated to be $488,510.12 for one entire year, for the purpose of acquiring, constructing, maintaining, and operating fire protection facilities and equipment, and paying salaries and fees of firemen, for fire protection within the District, said tax to represent an increase of 1.11 mills authorized to be levied through the year 2020 pursuant to an election held on May 1, 2010, such increase resulting from reappraisal in 2017?
Election Day is Saturday, Nov. 16 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
You can find out what’s on your ballot by clicking the links below: