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Benton’s Fire District #4 to propose bond issue for December’s ballot

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generic fire truck(KSLA)
Published: Nov. 2, 2021 at 3:25 PM CDT
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BENTON, La. (KSLA) - A bond issue is expected to go on the ballot in December, concerning Benton’s Fire District #4.

The fire district is asking voters to approve a two mill property tax increase. The increase will generate roughly $390,000 a year.

The district will then seek approval for a $2.5 million bond to get new equipment such as fire trucks, expanding living quarters and updating current equipment. The funds will not go towards employee salaries or benefits.

“This is a very important bond issue this sets up for the next 15 to 20 years,” said Benton Fire Chief J.T. Wallace

Wallace says there is a need for four new fire trucks. The total cost for them would be $2.9 million. Benton Mayor Shelly Horton says the area is growing and this can help response times.

“Even though I’m the mayor, I’m a citizen and I don’t like tax increases either, but I do support on first responders to get the proper equipment that they need,” he said.

As a resident of the area, it is possible you could be impacted. For example, if your home is valued at $350,000, you would pay an additional $55 a year.

While some people feel indifferent about the tax, others took to Facebook to share their disagreement.

”We sharpened the pencil as sharp as it gets. I wouldn’t have proposed the idea if there were any other opportunities,”

Each year, the department has applied for grant funding through FEMA. They have only received money two times in the last 14 years.

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