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1/2 cent sales tax discussed for Rosston VFD

By John Miller, 05/14/24 11:07 AM

ROSSTON – A public meeting was held prior to the May meeting of the Rosston City Council, with the purpose to discuss a 1/2 cent sales tax for the Rosston Volunteer Fire Department.

Mayor Dale Quarles said his slogan is “Moving Rosston Forward” and looking for ways to make Rosston a better place to live and more independent along with showing members of the VFD appreciation for what they do. He talked about having the opportunity to work with the department on a few calls and saw how dangerous it can be for the firefighters – all unpaid volunteers. He told the packed house at the VFD it’s the city’s responsibility to look out for its firefighters and recognize them.

He said the half-cent will give the department something to show its appreciated. The money raised would be used to help pay for gas for the firefighters and a small stipend for their work. All present agreed it’s a good idea.

Johnny Jenson, fire chief, said it would be nice to be compensated and supported because it’s hard to find people to do this because of all the trainings involved. He said the firemen have to pay for these trainings from their own pocket and gas is expensive. The firefighters, he continued, have to have these classes in order to qualify for Act 833 money.

David Gummerson, Prescott fire chief, said it takes a special caliber person to do this and the state is making things harder and wanting everyone to be professional. Because of this, he continued, the state is requiring more classes. “The days of the volunteer world is over.”

Quarles said some of the training cost should be paid by the city, and the department should look into trainings that would benefit Rosston.