Llano County Commissioner Peter Jones reads the official order for the formation of Emergency Services District No. 5 to a full house during the Commissioners Court’s regular meeting Nov. 28. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey
The Llano County Commissioners Court approved the official formation of Emergency Services District No. 5 during its regular meeting on Monday, Nov. 28. Precinct 108 constituents overwhelmingly voted in favor of forming the ESD in the Nov. 8 midterm election.
Commissioners also appointed five ESD board members to staggered terms set to begin Jan. 1, 2023. Board members Jean Glass, Karl J. Wolfe, and Michael Thomas will serve two-year terms, and Mike von Wupperfeld and Andrew Spencer will serve one-year terms.
ESD No. 5 will manage and fund fire protection services for Sunrise Beach Village, Bridgepoint, Lakewood Forest 1, and Comanche Rancherias. According to Llano County Commissioner Peter Jones, who represents the precinct, the district’s formation took at about 16 months, culminating this summer in a petition drive and a vote to put it on the November ballot.
The district will collect a maximum of 10 cents per $100 property evaluation from district residents to fund fire protection services. Funds will go toward contracting with area volunteer fire departments, which have traditionally relied on fundraising and charitable donations to function. The funding will allow for better equipment and maintenance, the hiring of professional firefighters, and improved fire protection services.
“It’s a reliable way of getting revenue to pay for services,” Jones told DailyTrib.com after the meeting. “It’s also a fair way because everybody wins, so it’s a big plus and a big win for everyone.”
Sunrise Beach Village Mayor Chellie Stewart voiced her support for the district’s formation and complimented her city’s volunteer fire department.
“We’ve had a lot of citizens and current council members that have worked hard on this, so we’re excited to be a big part of Precinct 108 and to have consistent high-level funding for a fire department that has consistently performed for this county,” she said. “This fire department is really recognized in this county as a top-performing fire department, so I know they’ll do good things with this investment and I know the citizens will benefit from that.”
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly said ESD No. 5 will collect a maximum of one-tenth of a cent per $100 property evaluation. It will actually collect a maximum of 10 cents per $100 property evaluation. DailyTrib.com apologizes for the error.