Fire and rescue services levy coming to ballot for Putnam County voters

Fire and rescue services levy coming to ballot for Putnam County voters
Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 10:56 PM EDT
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PUTNAM COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - In November, voters in Putnam County will have the chance to vote on a special levy that would affect fire and rescue services.

If it passes it would help with payroll and expenses, operating costs, hiring more firefighters, as well as fleet replacement and maintenance.

“It will produce about a half million dollars to the Putnam County Fire Rescue Service, which will enable us to keep up with the cost of operating the eight fire departments in Putnam County,” said Richard Pullin, fire administrator for the Putnam County Fire Service Board. “As well as begin to put some county-paid firemen on the system for Putnam County.”

Everyone who owns property in Putnam County currently pays a fire fee based on the square footage of their home.

If the special levy passes, Pullin said it would change how much residents pay -- basing the cost on the assessed value of their home or business.

“We will actually have residents and businesses that would save money, we will have some that will break even, and then there will be others that would see an increase,” Pullin said.

Teays Valley Fire Chief John Smoot said it’s critical the levy passes.

One of the first things he wants to happen if it passes is an increase in firefighters’ salaries.

“If the volunteer situation doesn’t get better, and it really doesn’t look like that it is getting better, you’re going to see longer response times,” Smoot said. “You very well could see a decrease in fire stations.”

Pullin said the new cost is to more appropriately charge people and businesses that own higher value properties.

“Our calculations have put us about 175,000 that you would start seeing an increase,” he said.

City meetings about the levy will be held in cities across Putnam County. They are as follows:

- Sept. 26, Eleanor Town Hall, 6 p.m.

- Oct. 3, Hurricane Town Hall, 6:30 p.m.

- Oct. 3, Buffalo Town Hall, 7 p.m.

- Oct. 6, Eleanor Town Hall, 7:30 p.m.

- Oct. 10, Poca Town Hall, 7:30 p.m.

- Oct. 11, Winfield Municipal Building, 6 p.m.

- Oct. 11, Eleanor Town Hall, 7 p.m.

- Oct. 20, Bancroft Town Hall (time not provided)

- Oct. 25, Putnam Development Authority Area 34, 4:30 p.m.

You can also find the potential levy charges for your property at