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Budget includes fire tax

JACKSON – With the approval of Northampton County’s upcoming fiscal year budget, tax rates have been levied for the county’s fire service districts, including the newly established Woodland Fire Service District.

At their last regular meeting, the Board of Northampton County Commissioners approved the 2008-09 budget which set a rate of 5.39 cents per $100 of value of real and personal properties in the new Woodland Fire Service District.

The service district reaches as far south as the intersection of NC 305 and Mary Odom Road, west of the intersection of Dusty Hill Road and NC 35 and north to the intersection of Panther Swamp and US 258.

The communities of George, Potecasi, Pine Tops and part of Ashley’s Grove are included in the service district’s area. A portion of the district stretches into Hertford County.

At the commissioners’ May 19 meeting, Woodland Volunteer Fire Department (WVFD) officials suggested five cents per $100 be set as the rate during a public hearing held to take comments regarding the establishment of a fire service district.

During that meeting, WVFD cleared up misconceptions about the fire service district and explained why the fire department needed the tax levied in order to continue to provide fire service to citizens and train firefighters.

Seventy-four percent of the fire department’s calls are outside of Woodland’s town limits.

Citizens and town officials also spoke at the hearing in support of the service district. The commissioners approved the establishment of a service district at the same meeting.

Other county fire service rates levied are as listed per $100 of value:

* Rich Square Volunteer Fire Department- 5.28 cents

* Lasker Volunteer Fire Department- 5.719 cents

* Jackson Volunteer Fire Department- 4.35 cents

* Seaboard Volunteer Fire Department- 5.3 cents

* Garysburg Volunteer Fire Department- 5.22 cents

* Gaston Volunteer Fire Department- 5.17 cents

* Roanoke Wildwood Volunteer Service Area:

* District A- 2.73 cents

* District B- 2.56 cents