Skip to Content

Raleigh County Commissioners consider fire levy rate amid statewide audit

Leaders are weighing the next price tag of the Raleigh County Fire Levy to be considered by voters in the May, 2020 Primary.

At issue for the county's commission is whether to lower or keep the current rate.

The decision comes at a tough time for volunteer fire departments as some are being flagged for 'irregular' spending as a result of new statewide audits mandated by the legislature in 2019.

"We have not decided yet whether we're going to drop the rates or not," explained Raleigh County Commission Pres. Dave Tolliver.

Two of the fire departments flagged for irregular spending are in Raleigh County, but leaders declined to name which ones.

Raleigh County Fire Levy Administrator Kevin Price said the auditor's questions relate to how the fire departments are spending state funds -- not levy money.

"They're finding irregularities in various departments across the state. They're just making sure that ours are solid and that taxpayer dollars are being spent in an efficient manner."

Still, the county is taking new steps to safeguard the public's trust by now making sure all levy purchases are pre-approved by Price.

"The county's fire levy, we're going to tighten down the budget so we know exactly what they're purchasing and whether they need it or not," said Tolliver.

The leaders do not want the audits to jeopardize the levy's passage in May.

Price would like to see the levy kept at its current rate, which amounts to an average of seven cents on every thousand dollars of assessed property value for your average homeowner. His top priorities for the next levy including adding some full-time, paid firefighters to reduce response times and add new fire stations.

"These guys who are currently out working, they may not be able to leave work. And manpower is a tremendous issue."

Annie Moore

Multimedia Journalist

Skip to content