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Posted: 27.3.2015 23:41

ESD Boards Announce Town Hall Meetings in EMC

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New Caney, TX (March, 2015)Residents of New Caney and Splendora are invited to attend public hearings to discuss the upcoming election to be held Saturday, May 9, 2015. Montgomery County ESD 7 (New Caney Fire Department) and Montgomery County ESD 11 (Splendora Fire Department) will be asking for voter approval to merge into the new Montgomery County ESD 7 (East Montgomery County Fire Department).

There will be 2 votes on the ballot for Splendora residents-voting for the merge of the two departments to form East Montgomery County Fire Department ESD 7, and a half penny sales tax in unincorporated areas of Splendora. The additional funding from the sales tax election will staff the existing Fire Station162 (Morgan Cemetery Road) with firefighters 24/7 to enable improved response time and more efficient fire protection.

The first town hall meeting will be held Thursday, April 9 at 7:00 pm at New Caney Fire Department (Station 151) located at 19870 FM 1485 West in New Caney. The second meeting will be Thursday, April 16 at 7:00 pm at Splendora Fire Department (Station 161) located at 14088 US 59 North in Splendora.

The town hall meetings serve as an ideal opportunity for residents from the community to learn more about the upcoming May 9th election”, said Jeff Taylor, Fire Chief of Splendora and New Caney Fire Departments. Residents are encouraged to ask questions and be informed of the reasons for the merge.

Since February 2014, the districts have been participating in an inter-local agreement to determine how effective a merge might possibly be.  This afforded the two fire departments the opportunity to train and operate together for a number of months prior to making a final decision to merge.  This integration has allowed the firefighters to become familiar with each other’s districts, stations, equipment and techniques, and has recently progressed to the point of relocating apparatus and firefighters into each other’s districts to better utilize the resources and increase familiarity. The stations together utilize both career and volunteer firefighters to respond to calls in the community.

The combined fire districts will cover approximately 144 square miles and serve about 35,000 citizens with more efficient fire protection, improve response times, reducing the communities insurance ratings (ISO), improved use of resources, equipment, reduced administration costs, improved financial sustainability, and expand the opportunity for additional career firefighters.

“The merging of resources and reduction in costs allows for more effective and efficient service to all the residents and businesses of the districts, and improved safety for Firefighters”, said Chief Taylor.

Early voting for the election runs from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. each weekday, beginning Monday, April 27, 2015 and ending Saturday, May 2, 2015. Extended hours for early voting shall be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday, May 4, 2015 and Tuesday, May 5, 2015. Both early voting and the May 9 polling location for the merge election will be held at New Caney Fire Department (Station 151) located at 19870 FM 1485 West in New Caney and Splendora Fire Department (Station 161) located at 14088 US 59 North in Splendora. Residents living in the unincorporated areas of Montgomery County ESD #11 will be voting on the half-penny sales tax.