Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 4, 2013

I just attended a meeting about the 2 cent fire tax increase and came away rather upset. The amount of tax per property owner is not that large or even unreasonable. However, the problem I have is the way it is being sold to property owners.
In reality, it comes down to wanting a new $1.8 million building, more equipment and eventually to creating 24 hour paid service, provided by all three branches of the firefighting brotherhood (this is something we should have already had for years). The building estimate is based on another recently built station in the county. EMS and Rescue both are covering their portion of the building project; no drawings will be realized for at least five years, yet they are begging for money now. I’m not against growth. I just would like for the decisionmakers to use some good judgment.
The town already has a 6 ISO (Insurance Service Office) rating, and all this expense would only maintain that. The present tax rate is .0661/hundred; the new tax rate will be .0861/hundred.
I did some reading on ISO. It is an insurance underwriting company that helps decide tax base charges, and creates an enviroment that causes municipalities to collect and spend taxpayers money. One of our town commissioners has already been able to get EMS services located here; a temporary building will be constructed soon anyway.
My problem is the taking of funds years in advance with no realistic plans in hand. Just a few years ago this same department built a new unmanned station on Third Creek Church Road (in reality it is no more than an equipment storage garage).
Why could it not have been built at the present chosen location back then and have averted this issue? Answer: ISO rating mumbo jumbo.
— Charles Cannaday

Cleveland

This is in response to the article “Budget would cut school funding by $200,000” (June 2).
The article states, “Despite school officials’ request for a nearly $5 million funding increase, county leaders plan to cut funding by more than $200,000 if the proposed budget is approved.” Where are our values, that we would cut education but then pay for a lawsuit about prayer that could cost $250,000?
Is a prayer before a meeting more important than teachers and education?
Really, think about it.

— Richard Morgan
Salisbury

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