A quarter-cent sales tax to provide funding for all fire departments in the county passed during Tuesday’s election.
According to the Bryan County Election Board, the tax passed by 53.63 percent with 2,603 votes cast for it, compared to 46.37 percent, 2,251 votes opposed.
“The Bryan County Fire Chiefs would like to thank everyone in Bryan County for voting today (Tuesday),” said Brian Norton, Deputy Chief of Calera Fire-Rescue. “We now must start working on being good stewards of your money and provide everyone with the best fire protection they deserve.”
The sales tax will provide funding for all Bryan County fire departments, the Bryan County Communications Center and the Bryan County Fire Chiefs Association.
It is permanent, and will be used for the purpose of fire protection, prevention, communications, training-related expenses (not to include salaries), and Fire/EMS/Rescue operations. This will include maintenance/construction of buildings, purchase and maintenance of equipment, vehicles and supplies. The funds will be distributed equally among all 18 fire departments located in Bryan County. Ninety percent will go to the fire departments, five percent to the Bryan County Communications Center and five percent to the Bryan County Fire Chiefs Association.
In the case of Durant, the 9.125 percent sales tax rate will increase to 9.375. According to the tax resolution, it becomes effective after approval by voters, but an effective start date was not set in the resolution.