MOBILE COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — Small communities in Mobile County are voting on increasing fire protection with increased fees. Theodore/Dawes is trying to create its own fire district, while Grand Bay and Fowl River are asking for an increase in the fire protection fee. These votes are something members of these fire departments have been trying to get passed for a long time.

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 protection without paying the fee.
It could amount to an additional $120 a year depending on how you pay your taxes. This comes as the MFRD has pulled back its fire coverage outside of Mobile City limits.

Polling locations for Theodore/Dawes are:

Precinct 1 East – East of Schillinger/Theodore Dawes Rd.
Tillman’s Corner Community Center 5055 Carol Plantation Rd.
Mobile, AL 36619
Precinct 2 West – West of Schillinger/Theodore Dawes Rd.
First Baptist Church of Dawes 3941 Dawes Road
Mobile, AL 36695

In Grand Bay, they have a fire district. Voters are being asked to increase the fire service fee from $35 a year to $70 annually for homeowners. The increase is something the fire department asked for in 2017 but voters rejected. Firefighters say it’s needed because the equipment is aging and they’ve had the same budget for decades.

Members of the Fowl River Fire District are also asking voters to approve a fee increase. If passed it would go from $35 a year to $60 for households.

All of these votes were supposed to happen in April but were pushed back because of pandemic restrictions.