Wheaton fire district wins voter approval

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Wheaton area has become the latest in the area to approve establishing a tax-supported fire district on Nov. 5.

Following the passage of the Pierce City Fire District and the Aurora Rural Fire District in April, both on the third attempt, Wheaton firefighters opted to seek voter approval on their last chance of the year. A tax-based district offers security and higher funding, rather than relying on memberships for income.

The proposal won by a 58 percent majority, 118 to 84. The greatest vote turnout and support came in Barry County, where the referendum carried 97-65. In the McDonald County portion of the district, voters were split 18-16 in favor. In the Newton County portion, support was even with the opposition, each side getting three votes.

A simple majority was needed for passage. Because the tax cycle for 2014 has already been set, the district will not receive any revenue from the 30 cents per $100 of assessed valuation until taxes are paid at the end of 2014.

Voters also sorted out the candidates running for the five open seats on the fire district board of directors. All were elected. Dwayne Pettygill earned the highest number of votes with 132 (118 Barry County, 10 McDonald County, 4 Newton County) and earned the job of chairman.

The other candidates received the following votes: Larry Prewitt 130 (111 Barry, 15 McDonald, 4 Newton); Nolan McNeill II 127 (119 Barry, 4 each McDonald and Newton); Randall Wallace 125 (111 Barry, 10 McDonald, 4 Newton); and Steve Williams 114 (106 Barry, 5 McDonald, 3 Newton).

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