Dare County Board of Commissioners at its meeting Monday night approved
a 2.39-cent increase in the Buxton Fire District tax to build a new
Beginning July 1, the fire district tax will be 10.58 cents per $100 of property valuation.
Bryan Perry, chief of the Buxton Volunteer Fire Department, addressed the commissioners about the need for the increase.
takes bigger trucks and more manpower to protect bigger buildings --
and I don't mean just taller buildings -- on Hatteras Island now,"
"It takes bigger trucks, and bigger trucks require bigger stations," he added.
instance, the fire department has a 30-year-old truck that needs to be
replaced, but a new truck will be bigger and won't fit in the bay at
the current firehouse.
Also, he noted, the taller buildings require more ladder trucks, which are expensive to buy and expensive to maintain.
Burrus, Hatteras Island's commissioner, also noted that the Buxton fire
department is charged with the protection of five, large county
buildings, including two schools, the EMS station, the county office
building, and the Fessenden Center.
The department gets no county funds for the county buildings.
"I guess the people of Buxton are paying for it," Perry said.
fire department is ready to start building a new station on higher
ground across Highway 12 from the present firehouse, which was flooded
in Hurricane Emily and with all the bays it now has is really too big
for the lot it sits on.
The new station is estimated to cost
$1.4 million, though Perry says he knows some costs will have to be
backed out in the end. The plan is for six bays in the new
building on the elevated land. For a while, he says, the
department will have to continue using the meeting room in the old
The property for the new station was bought in May 2011 for $241,000, and Perry said it is paid for.
response to a question from the board about local support, Perry said,
"I know somebody will be upset." But he added the fire department
has to take the step to protect its current rating of 5.
made the motion to approve the additional tax, and it was seconded by
Max Dutton. It was approved by a vote of 6-1 with Republican Bob
Woodard voting against it.