WCESD #4 invites public to meeting on sales tax


Submitted by WCESD #4

Williamson County Emergency Services District No. 4 will host a town hall meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8 to discuss your fire protection and how to pay for it.

ESD4 is the grassroots government that funds the Liberty Hill Fire Department, which provides fire and emergency medical first-response in western Williamson County, including the City of Liberty Hill.

All ESD4 residents are invited to attend the meeting at 7 p.m. Oct. 8 at Bill Burden Elementary, 315 Stonewall Parkway in Liberty Hill.

The ESD4 Board of Commissioners has called an election for Nov. 3, asking voters to approve raising the sales tax one percent in the district. The additional sales tax is projected to raise about $300,000 a year to fund planned improvements for the fire department. Liberty Hill Fire Department officials believe that additional revenue is necessary to continue raising the standards for the fire department and meet expectations of citizens.

After conducting long-range planning, ESD4 has identified the need to build a new station in 2017 to serve areas in the eastern portion of the district, including Santa Rita and Cimarron Hills. The department is planning on a third station near County Road 200 and the Clear Water Ranch subdivision, possibly to be opened in 2021.

Each station and the equipment necessary to make it operational would cost in excess of $3 million. Staffing for each station would cost an estimated $650,000 a year.

Fire officials believe the expenditures are justified to cut the time it takes to get help to areas that are currently remote from the ESD’s lone station.

Minutes count in an emergency. Fire moves rapidly, and every minute means more damage to property and more risk to lives. In a traffic accident, the sooner a trauma victim receives treatment, the more likely the victim will survive.

Station proximity and equipment availability is also a factor in determining insurance rates. The ESD is committed to spending wisely to increase the chances citizens can save on their insurance premiums.