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New Funding Model for Volunteer Fire Departments

The volunteer fire system is celebrating 50 years in Daviess County but a shortfall in funding is impacting many departments.

Currently, volunteer fire departments are funded by membership dues that were placed on property tax bills in 2003.  The dues are fixed, meaning there is no natural growth factor to account for inflation or increased expenses.

The only way for funding to increase for any station is for additional homes to be built in their response area.

Naturally, some communities in Daviess County are experiencing more growth than others, which has affected the amount of available funding for volunteer departments.

To remedy this problem, Daviess County Fiscal Court is proposing a repeal and replace plan.

Membership dues would be removed from property tax bills and replaced with a 1.1 percent increase to the insurance premium license fee that would be restricted to fire service.

For most, the fee would be similar to what they are paying now.

Watch as Judge/Executive Charlie Castlen and Fire Chief Jeremy Smith outline the proposal following first reading on Thursday, November 2.

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