But to prevent that from happening, the Millersville Fire Protection District is hoping to annex the land that lies south of County Road 328, east of County Road 335, north of County Road 330 and west of Seabaugh Road.
While those property owners pay taxes to receive coverage from the Gordonville Fire Protection District now, their land is not actually within the district and will not be assessed district taxes after property values are revaluated in 2011, Millersville Fire Protection District board president Jim Roche said.
By annexation, Roche believes the property owners will have a quicker response time for medical calls or fires. The closest Gordonville station is about seven miles from the area. Roche said Millersville's station at the Highway 34-72 junction is only about four miles from the area.
"I'm concerned about people having adequate protection," Roche said. "While we would get the tax revenue by annexing the land, that's not the benefit we're concentrating on or most concerned with. We're looking out for their safety first and foremost."
Until mid-March, Roche said, surrounding fire protection districts were unaware the property owners in that area may not be covered next year.
Roche said a homeowner trying to get a bank loan discovered last month that his home would not be covered by a fire protection district in 2011. At that point, the homeowner contacted Cape Girardeau County Emergency Management Services, which in turn informed Roche of the situation.
At the Millersville Fire Protection District's March 15 meeting, Roche presented the information. Roche then mailed letters to the 10 property owners about the situation and alerted them that the district is interested in annexing their properties.
Roche said an attorney is now working out details that would put the measure before voters served by the Millersville Fire Protection District in a special election.
Gordonville fire chief Randy Morris Jr. said he had been approached by Cape Girardeau County Emergency Management Services director Dick Knaup about his district annexing the land. When Morris approached the district's board about the idea, they were opposed to it.
"They felt that Millersville was the best fit because their fire station was much closer," Morris said. "I know sometimes when you get into issues of district boundaries and annexations, people become upset. But both our districts have a good working relationship and only want the best for the safety of the residents in that unincorporated area."
While the Jackson Church of the Nazarene is already covered by the Jackson Fire Protection District, a nearby lot owned by the church is not. The Rev. Kenneth Harper said he had received Roche's letter but wanted to discuss the matter with his congregation before commenting.
Attempts to contact other property owners for comment were unsuccessful.
Knaup said insurance rates will likely rise if the area is not annexed.
"While the nearby fire departments will respond in case of a fire, I encourage those property owners to seriously consider annexation," Knaup said. "If I was a homeowner looking to buy in the area, I would want to be in a fire district. The advantages far outweigh the disadvantages."
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