It is that time of year again the Russellville Rural Fire Department is asking the community it serves to help them out a bit by paying annual dues.
According to Rural Fire Chief Cheryl Allen, the dues make up at least a third of the department’s budget.
“They pay for our gas to get up and down the road and they allow us to keep our trucks maintained,” said Allen.
There are 301 people right now that pay their dues out of 1,891 names on a list Allen has. This does not include everyone in the department’s service area. Allen says she gets new addresses all the time from people who find out about the dues and want to be put on the list. She says the department sends out reminders to people on the list every year around June.
“I don’t think people understand the importance of the dues,” said Allen. “It’s not that they don’t want to help out, it’s that they don’t know how or they see it as a gamble and aren’t sure they will need it.”
Part of the problem is the department is not reaching all the people in the area because they don’t have all the addresses.
“I just don’t think people know about it,” said Allen, hoping to get the word out.
The other volunteer fire departments in Logan County also collect dues each year to help with their operating costs. Adairville, Auburn and Lewisburg all rely on people they serve paying dues. It is strictly a voluntary action, but one in which the firefighters depend on.
The Russellville Rural Fire Department receives $27,000 a year from the Logan County Fiscal Court. This is a recent increase from the $17,000 they operated on for years. At one time they only received $10,000.
“We have a lot of bills to pay just like anyone else, including utilities, the upkeep of the station and insurance,” said Allen. The department’s insurance bill alone costs $10,000 a year.
An idea that has been talked about and is once again being looked at is adding the option to pay the dues on the property tax bill each year. This is only an option, says Allen, but she feels people will come closer to selecting that option and paying their dues that way.
“Warren County put the option on their property tax bills and they received a 97 percent return,” said Allen.
Allen said the department responds to many different types of fires from structure to vehicle. She said that even though the department would respond despite if someone has paid their dues or not, it just helps the department out a great deal if they do.
If someone has a fire and has paid their dues they will not be charged anything. If someone has a fire and the department responds and they have not paid their dies, it could cost them as much as $500.
The Russellville Rural Fire Department Membership dues are due as of now. They are good for one year. Cost is as follows:
Residential Home is $40
Farm is $75
Business is $100
Dues can be mailed to the Russellville Rural Fire Department at 101 Fischer Drive Russellville Ky. 42276
Also if anyone would like to make a donation they can mail to the same address. If anyone has questions to what area they are served they can contact Chief Cheryl Allen at 221-0357.