Oquawka Fire Department Hopes To Create Fire Protection District

The Oquawka Fire Department is looking to create a Fire Protection District. The issue will be voted on next month. The department has relied on assessments and other voluntary contributions for 127 years, but operations have become more of a financial challenge in recent years. Supporters say fire protection districts have advantages over voluntary organizations and are common throughout the state. Last fall, a petition was circulated among Oquawka area residents, asking that the formation of a fire protection district move forward.  As a result, on December 28th, an order was entered in the Henderson County Circuit Court, placing the question on the April 4th ballot.  A fire protection district has the ability to collect taxes, based on the value of the real estate within the district.  If the district would levy taxes at the rate of 12 cents for every $100 of assessed value (the fire protection district minimum), the new fire protection district would receive approximately $41,700 in tax revenue annually.