Osage County commissioners have set a Sept. 30 public hearing, in conjunction with their meeting that Monday morning, in regard to efforts by the Green Country Volunteer Fire Department to create a fire protection district to help finance its activities.
The volunteer department, which has a roster of 19 firefighters, provides fire protection for an area in the southern portion of the county, north of U.S. Highway 412 and not far from Sand Springs. The creation of a fire district would mean the department could benefit from revenue generated by tax millage, rather than depending primarily on voluntary subscriptions.
Fire Chief Glen Quimby explained to county commissioners that public support for the effort to create a fire protection district for the Green Country Volunteer Fire Department has been generous. Quimby told the Journal-Capital that the department needed 290 valid signatures on a petition it circulated, but gathered nearly 450 signatures.
The department had initially wanted to try to get the fire protection district issue on the ballot for Tuesday, Nov. 12, but procedural factors made that impossible. Quimby said it is now hoped that the question can be offered for a vote on Tuesday, Dec. 10.
“It’s been quite a process; not for the weak at heart,” Quimby said of the legwork involved.
Quimby told county commissioners and the Journal-Capital that property development in the department’s 29 square miles of territory has been growing, while the department’s capacity has remained static.
“The department is pretty much the same as it was in 1990, as far as its capabilities,” he said. People are building new homes of considerable size and value, some of them in the range of $300,000 to $500,000, Quimby said. He clarified for county officials that the new district would be intended to finance fire protection. EMSA provides emergency medical services for the area, he said.
Quimby voiced appreciation for the help his department has received from Osage County government in its attempt to work through the details of the process of seeking to establish a fire protection district.
“They’ve been helpful at every turn,” he said.