GRAND BAY, Ala. (WKRG) — Volunteer firefighters in Grand Bay are asking for help. They’re asking voters to approve an increase to their budget–it’s a budget that hasn’t seen any increase in nearly three decades. Whether it’s the aging air compressor to fill oxygen tanks, or this brush fire truck with leaky water storage, Grand Bay Fire Chief Grayling Christian says sometimes you forget about the fire department until the worst happens.
“They don’t ever think about the fire department until they see a truck going down the road or they need the fire department,” said fire chief Grayling Christian. The chief says dealing with aging hardware and other issues has created some difficulties.
“It puts a strain on firefighters when you’re trying to make sure your equipment is ready at all times,” said Christian. It’s an issue that the department has been pushing for a long time. They made a detailed post on Facebook outlining their financial history.
On the ballot–a measure to increase the fire service fee from $35 a year to $70 annually. The increase is something the fire department asked for in 2017 but voters rejected. Christian says they’ve been making their case throughout Grand Bay. If approved the department’s annual budget would be $250,000.
The vote will be April 28th. The fire chief says probate court officials asked them to have the vote after the March primaries so the office wouldn’t be overwhelmed printing different ballots for voters in Grand Bay.