ALBRIGHT, W.Va. – The Preston County Commissioners approved a new fire levy for the May 2022 ballot.
The proposed levy would fund 12 volunteer fire departments in the county and expire in 2027.
The fire departments get some funding from the state but also rely on the levies to keep them up and running.
“The better equipped we are, the better trained we are, the better our apparatus is, the better job we can do when we go out to provide a fire extinguishment. Or maybe we’re responding to car wrecks as a rescue and that adds up to keeping people healthier, saving lives, and there’s just no way to really put a price tag on that,” Owen Evans, the Albright Volunteer Fire Department Chief said.
Evans is also a part of the Preston County Fire Association. The association has successfully had the commission approve previous levies to get on the ballot, including this upcoming one.
The new levy on the 2022 ballot is a slight increase from the current levy. If passed, Class I will increase .25 cents, Class 2 will increase .50 cents, Class 3 and 4 increase $1.00. The current fire levy for the county was granted for five years and expires in 2023.
Volunteer fire departments use funding for maintenance of their regular equipment and to upgrade to new ones. The Albright Volunteer Fire Department just used funding to buy a new washer and dryer for their uniforms. A volunteer firefighter said the washer uses special detergent and sanitizer to get cancer causing chemicals out of their uniforms. He added that the washer and dryer cost nearly $19,000.
Albright Volunteer Fire Department is currently looking for more firefighters. Anyone interested can call the department at (304) 329-3977.