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New fire district is third largest in county

The  merge of the Shady Valley and Springdale fire protection districts created the Saline Fire Protection District, forming the third largest fire district in Jefferson County behind Rock Community and High Ridge Fire Protection Districts.

Shady Valley Fire Chief Bob Dunn, who has also served as the acting chief for Springdale, said the transition process during the past few months has gone smoothly.

Dunn said he promoted three new battalion chiefs, one per shift. Firefighters Chris Starnes, Bill Modrasic and Mike Wekenborg will begin their new positions Thursday.

The tax rate for the new district will add an approximate 10-cent increase per $100 assessed valuation — or $19 per year for a $100,000 home — for residents living in the current Shady Valley district. However, the new rate will decrease the levy for Springdale taxpayers by about three cents per $100 assessed valuation, or $6 per year for a $100,000 home.

To pass, the issue needed only a simple majority of voters from both districts to approve it. Residents in the Shady Valley district approved the consolidation with a 50.7 percent majority, while 62.8 percent of those in the Springdale district voted in favor.

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