The Pryor Times

November 15, 2012

Fire tax revisited

Staff Writer
Cydney Baron

PRYOR — The Mayes County Board of County Commissioners met Tuesday to discuss the distribution of fire tax funds.  

“We’ve all gotten complaints. We’re far enough into this that we need to look at dividing this money a different way. It’s not working the way it is,” said District 1 Commissioner Alva Martin.

These funds came from a one-fourth-cent county sales tax in 2002. According to the original resolution, the money collected from the sales tax increase will be divided evenly among the 14 fire departments. The departments were to receive an estimated $35,000 to $38,000 annually.

“Is it right to give Disney, for example, $65,000 per year to cover one percent of an area and give Locust Grove $65,000 per year to cover 70 percent of an area?” Martin said.

He said commissioners have dropped the ball and need to look at what will better serve the public.

“Let’s start each department with $36,000 base pay annually, to be allotted monthly,” Martin said.

The additional money dispersed monthly will be based on number of runs, equipment needs and fuel costs.

Comissioners discussed Insurance Service Office, or ISO, ratings. These ratings are used to determine the cost of homeowner insurance in a given area. Smaller fire departments are using budgeted money to work on improving the ISO rating. Questions arose on how this proposed redistribution will effect those ratings.

The item was tabled until more information is gathered.

The agenda included a discussion on a proposal concerning approval of a resolution to deposit funds to the T-County Highway account from sale of scrap metal. District 3 Commissioner Ryan Ball reported no bids were received. The district attorney was asked to get phone quotes. The cheapest quote came from West Siloam Recycling center. The total amount being $1,965.95.

The motion to approve the cancellation of two warrants to the Municipal Utility Board was approved. One was $14,618.41 and the other was a $600 donation.

Motions to approve the disposal and replacement of computer equipment in the County Clerk’s Office and the map proposing the definite location for Wickliffe Creek project for Cherokee Nation were both approved.

The request for blank purchase orders was approved.