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Gaston will vote on fire tax

GASTON – The vote for the fire tax levy in the town of Gaston has been approved by the United States Department of Justice.

According to a letter from John Tanner, chief of the Voting Section of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, &uot;the Attorney General does not interpose any objection to the specified change.&uot;

The letter was the last roadblock to be cleared before the voters of Gaston have the choice to approve a tax levy in support of the Gaston Fire District.

If passed, the measure would allow the town to levy an annual property tax not in excess of five cents per $100 valuation in support of the fire district.

In June, Gaston Mayor Billy Melton said the fire department had asked the town to approve the five-cent tax that the county had authorized.

This is the second time the tax has come to a vote of the people in Gaston. In June of 2003, voters voted down a similar measure by just four votes.

For their part, the Northampton County Board of Elections is ready to hold the referendum on October 4.

Elections Director Tonya B. Pitts said her office and board had prepared as if the approval from justice would come.

&uot;My office is ready for the special election,&uot; Pitts said.

Pitts said precinct officials have been appointed and ballots printed for the vote. The instructional meeting for precinct workers will be held September 29 with the election following on October 4.

A total of 615 voters are registered in the town of Gaston.