Thousands of Theodore residents to vote on establishing fire district

Mobile County

THEODORE, Ala. (WKRG) — A special election has been set for April 28 for thousands of people in Theodore. Residents who are served by the Theodore/Dawes Volunteer Fire Department will vote on whether they want to establish a fire district.

Establishing a fire district would mean more resources for the Theodore/Dawes Volunteer Fire Department that serves the area. Right now the Theodore/Dawes Fire Department gets their funding from a $5 fee charged by Mobile County Water & Sewer. However, not all people in the Theodore/Dawes fire jurisdiction are served by Mobile County Water & Sewer. So, some people are getting the protection without paying the fee.

If residents vote to establish a fire district, people served by the Theodore/Dawes Volunteer Fire Department would pay $10 more per month in property taxes or $120 at the end of the year depending how you pay taxes.

Officials with the Theodore/Dawes Volunteer Fire Department say that the additional funding is desperately needed. In 2018 Mobile Fire-Rescue scaled back their coverage area, putting a larger burden on the Theodore/Dawes Volunteer Fire Department. They went from taking 35 calls a month to more than 350.

“Our call volume is extremely high for a volunteer fire department,” said Deputy Chief Jeremy Lewis.

The additional funding would allow the fire department to buy new trucks that are needed and hire several more paid firefighters. Right now there are only two paid firefighters and the rest are volunteers. Having more paid people on staff will allow for quicker response times.

“That’s the whole plan for this is to provide a better service to the community through these funds. We hope to expand coverage to where we will have at least a paid driver 24/7 that can have that initial truck on scene with a quick response time,” said Lewis.

Leading up to the April 28 vote, the Theodore/Dawes Volunteer Fire Department will host several public meetings where residents can get a better understanding of what they’re voting on. The first meeting is scheduled for February 15 at 9 a.m. at the Tillman’s Corner Community Center (5055 Carol Plantation Rd, Mobile, AL 36619).

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