Local News

Keeping Residents Safe Could Mean Higher Taxes

Posted February 23, 1998 6:00 a.m. EST

— Wake County is an interesting mix of rural and urban areas. So, if you live in a city, should you pay to improve emergency services in rural areas of the county?

The issue is sparking a lot of debate in Wake County, and it could be coming to your hometown soon. The question: As more folks put down roots in Wake County, will the small volunteer fire stations in rural areas be able to provide proper service?

Morrisville Police Chief Tony Chiotakis says his department, a mix of volunteers and paid firefighters, has evolved.

The Public Safety Committee is looking at a county-wide flat tax to provide equal fire service in all areas. Right now, fire tax rates range from district to district.

But, it seems that commissioners are not ready to change the system that much -- at least, not yet. Commissioners, like Betty Lou Ward, were more comfortable with smaller changes.

Wake County fire chiefs are planning to meet and discuss their options. Then, they'll go to the commissioners with their proposals.