Angelina County commissioners table petition for new emergency services district

Angelina County commissioners table petition for new emergency services district

ANGELINA COUNTY, Texas (KTRE) - Angelina County Commissioners tabled a petition Tuesday submitted by the Hudson Volunteer Fire Department.

The petition is to create an Emergency Services District to provide more resources for residents living within the boundaries of Hudson Independent School District.

“To get started it is a tax base for the fire department but to clarify it’s not a 10 percent tax, it’s tenth of a percent tax. It is ten cents on a $100 evaluation,” Barker said.

If approved by voters, services would include fire, rescue and first responders trained to offer advanced life support.

“We rely a lot on donations and unfortunately with the way today is we don’t have the volunteers and the funding that we use to have,” Barker said.

Barker said costs are rising.

“The equipment, the prices of equipment, the price of everything has gone up and so we’re looking at a tax base to support our volunteer fire department,” Barker said.

Through the tax base, the Hudson VFD is hoping to generate a budget of $433,000. That funding would be used to hire three full time fire fighters and a secretary.

If county commissioners decide to move forward with the measure, a public hearing would follow.

“They would just set the matter for a public hearing on a date down the road and the public would be allowed to come in and comment on it,” said Cary Kirby, county attorney.

Following the public hearing, the ESD would then be a measure on the November ballot for a voters to decide.

One resident voiced his concerns saying he supports the idea of the emergency services district--- but says needs more time to educate the public.

“I think we need at least a year to fully understand what’s going on, have a better plan, have a very specific plan . Have dollars and cents on what we’re going to need and what we’re going to have,” said Rick Lawrence.

Angelina County Commissioners could bring the proposal back for discussion as early as the next meeting on July 23.

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