Greenbrier Fire Levy Does Not Pass - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Greenbrier Fire Levy Does Not Pass

GREENBRIER COUNTY (WVVA)---Greenbrier County citizens turned out to vote on the Greenbrier County Fire Levy Saturday.

The result: a resounding "nay."

Saturday night, the votes were tallied: 32% (1,148 total) voted for the levy, and 68% (2,427) against, said firefighter Mark Kelley Jr. with the Clintonville Fire Department. Polls were open from 6:30 AM to 7:30 PM.

If it passed, the levy would have raised around 1.8 million dollars to be disbursed between the county's fifteen fire departments. Citizens would be taxed based on the amount of taxable property they own. A Fire Coordinator position would be created to manage the funds raised through the levy.

Firefighters said stations were using out-dated equipment and needed many repairs to keep up with state fire standards, and some were even at risk of closing because of lack of funds.

"The road ahead is going to be hard," said Kelley Jr. "There was a lot of misleading information out there [that hurt us] and now we have to find a new way to keep departments open."

Kelley Jr. said one possible solution was applying for even more grants than ever before, and it is uncertain whether they will seek the levy again.

 "We aren't sure if we are going to try again, or if we aren't" he said, "We know we tried our hardest [this time around] and we left it in the voters' hands."

Kelley Jr. said the people of Greenbrier County should prepare for a tough year just as the fire departments are beginning to do.

"There may be department closures," he said. "We have to get together and figure out how to move forward."

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