Ten years ago in 2006, voters gave Holley-Navarre Fire District the increase they asked for which gave them enough money to move from an all-volunteer force to a paid district. Since 2006, HNFD has not asked for more money, but now HNFD Fire Chief Ron Norton hopes the voters will approve an increase in November. In a February interview, Norton said, “We have been excellent stewards of the homeowner’s fire protection fees; we have trimmed all of the extra that we can, applied for grants that we are eligible for, and haven’t asked for an increase in 10 years. But we know we have to do something and soon.”
The time to do something has come. The years of booming growth in HNFD’s response area has put a strain on the departments work-force. Since 2010, Navarre’s population has more than doubled, yet the district has operated under the same base fee paid by homeowners. While the firefighters at the district are top-notch, the lack of funds is forcing them to do the work of two and sometimes three people. Currently the district has 12 full-time positions and 2 part-time positions, and that puts two firefighters on the truck per shift for Station 41 and three per truck per shift at Station 45.
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