Morley, Mo., weighs funding for fire department
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
MORLEY, Mo. -- The city of Morley is looking at options regarding funding for its fire department.
Morley residents do not pay a specific fire tax; the city funds the department with donations and city general revenue.
The question being raised is whether the city should impose a tax to fund its own department, or to turn over protection to the Rural Scott County Fire Protection District, which is funded through county taxes.
"We are weighing our options at this point; either way a decision will be left up to the voters," said Morley fire chief Theresa Hicks, who leads the all-volunteer department.
Officials are aware that the department needs more funding to provide better equipment and enough staff when responding to a fire.
Mike Riley, a Rural Scott County Fire Protection District board member, was on hand at the October city council meeting to answer questions regarding the town's interest in joining the district, which has nearby fire stations.
Riley said it is difficult for a small community to fund a fire department with the annual budget and the cost of maintaining equipment.
"We are getting bigger; more towns are coming on board with our district," Riley said. "We are fortunate to have a large group of guys that are spread out and can handle the additional load."
Vanduser, Mo., joined the district in January. Oran, Mo., and Chaffee, Mo., have their own fire departments partially through their own tax levies.
Any taxes will be subject to voter approval. More discussion will take place at the Morley City Council meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.