In October 2011, the commissioners approved to place the sales tax resolution on the ballot in an upcoming countywide election. Norton said since then, training has been added to the resolution. “Firefighters should be trained to a minimum standard,” he said.
The fire tax would increase capabilities of the 18 fire departments in Bryan County and 911 dispatch center, provide money for better training and equipment, EMS training and supplies and “allow for a peace of mind, knowing that the fire departments are being funded in a manner so they can provide better coverage to citizens in their area.”
Ninety percent of the funds accumulated from the tax would be equally distributed to local fire departments and the remaining 10% would benefit the Bryan County Communications Center and the Bryan County Fire Chiefs Association. All sales tax money would be set up in a general ledger account in the Bryan County Treasurer’s office.A purchase order from the Bryan County Clerk’s office would be required for a fire department to receive any of the funds.
District No. 3 Commissioner Jay Perry asked Norton, “How much is allocated to actually do the book work and write the checks, because that’s going to be a real cost.”
After discussion, Norton and the commissioners agreed those funds could come from the percentage given to the BCFA. There was also much discussion about the wording of the ballot proposition. District No. 1 Commissioner Monty Montgomery looked up sales tax election laws in a book and said, “I just want to be sure we’re following the statute.”
Montgomery told Norton to meet with the Bryan County Election Board to “work on wording.” The resolution and proposition for the fire sales tax will be further discussed at a future date.
The commissioners also discussed and approved bonds for the Bryan County Jail Project. Before concluding the monthly meeting, the commissioners conducted a walk-through inspection of the Bryan County Jail.