McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

State House

October 8, 2013

Garfield County rural fire sales tax OK’d with 86% voter approval

ENID, Okla. — Garfield County voters chose Tuesday to keep a one-tenth of a penny sales tax to help rural volunteer firefighters build up their departments and maintain their equipment.

Waukomis Fire Chief Clarence Maly said he didn’t know what to expect on election day.

“We’ve showed the voters in Garfield CountY we did a good job with their money, so they’re going to let us do it some more,” he said.

The vote was 5,114-835 — 86 percent in favor — to continue the one-tenth of a cent tax for another 10 years.

The money will be split among a dozen rural volunteer fire departments in Garfield County. Last year, each received about $89,000 from the revenue.

“We’ve all had some projects in mind to do if we had the funding to go forward with, but we didn’t know until tonight once the people voted,” Maly said. “Now we can take those projects and improve the county even more than we have in the past. It’ll help a lot of people.”

The first sales tax benefiting rural fire departments in the county was passed in 1996. It was a quarter-cent tax.

Voters approved a one-tenth cent extension for five years in 2000, then extended the tax for another nine years in 2005. The current tax expires Dec. 31, 2014. The extension approved Tuesday will last until Dec. 31, 2024.

The money has been used by the departments for operational expenses, as well as to build new stations and buy new trucks and equipment.

Fire departments from Hillsdale-Carrier, Lahoma, Drummond,  Douglas, Waukomis, Covington, Garber, Hunter, Kremlin and Fairmont received funding from the original sales tax. Since then, departments have been formed at Breckinridge and Pioneer-Skeleton Creek.

In 1996, officials with rural departments said the tax was the only way they could pay their bills and seek a stable income source to upgrade broken-down firefighting equipment. Spring fires had caused damage in many rural parts of the county in 1996, and rural fire departments at the time depended solely on membership dues, fundraising dinners and a small amount of municipal funding in some cases. State funds totaling about $1,000 a year also were received, along with a special one-time $2,000 allocation for maintenance on equipment.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State House
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands
NDN Video
Bill Murray Continues To Be Just Bill Murray By Eating Some Free Bill Murray Ice Cream Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.