Bradford County commissioners dismiss funding proposal for fire rescue services

Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 6:15 PM EDT
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STARKE, Fla. (WCJB) - ”We have great support in this community.”

The fire department was the focus of a Bradford County commission meeting.

In the meeting, Bradford County commissioners made a motion to remove the one-cent sales tax from the table.

Despite the proposal being dismissed, Bradford County Fire Chief Ben Carter remained understanding.

“The commissioners agreed that’s not the best option, for this county,” said Fire Chief Ben Carter. “But I look forward to seeing what other options they came up with to find funding with the fire rescue.”

Proposals for filling an open position for the fire department and whether to repeal the fire services’ one-cent sales tax ballot were two items on the agenda.

Chief Carter says the one-cent sales tax is rare in Florida, but not in Liberty County, which is the only other county in the state that is on the one-cent sales tax.

Residents like Jim Powell said this didn’t work out well for low-income areas.

“If you start adding sales tax to people who are particularly needy, you’re just making them needier,” said Powell.

The funding for the fire department would have paid for operational services.

“Fire equipment is expensive. The federal government takes so much money out of our pocket, they should give some of it back. And our fire department should be some recipient of some of that,” claimed Powell.

Earlier this year the department had to have an ambulance removed due to funding.

A longtime resident of Starke says despite the funding being removed, fire services in Starke have always been efficient.

“It seems that the services have been good here,” said James Anewman Jr., “I think it can keep up in that stride, in that direction.”

Chief Ben Carter says he’s looking forward to hearing from commissioners about future funding for the fire department.

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