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From the May 21, 2014 issue of The Journal
By Richard Harris
The Marion County Commission closed a road and opened a new chapter for fire departments during its meeting last Tuesday, May 13. Officials also recognized retiring employees and approved purchasing equipment.
Road Closing: After conducting a public hearing in which nobody voiced opposition, the commissioners voted to close Double Bridges Road, which is 1.3 miles long. The road was practically closed already, as a bridge near its center has been closed for over a decade. Property owners had requested that it be officially closed, noting that the use of four-wheelers for recreation was damaging the road and adjacent property. The road is now basically a driveway for the property owners.
Fire Department Funding: It's no secret that volunteer fire departments in Marion County hold a lot of fundraisers to keep their respective departments going and Fire Board President Joey Wells told the commissioners that it's getting harder and harder to make ends meet.
"We've cooked so much barbecue in Tazewell, we're turning into pigs," he said.
Wells presented a packet showing the expenditures of each of the six volunteer fire departments (Doyle, Draneville, Ft. Perry, Brown Springs, Tazewell, Oakland) and noted that the average cost to operate each department is $905.18 per month ($65,172.82 per year).
Currently, VFDs are paid small amounts at the end of each month based on how many and what type of emergencies they respond to. For example, the Tazewell VFD received a total of ... Online subscribers click here for the rest of the story.