By CHRISTIN COYNE
Several neighborhoods south of Weatherford could soon join Emergency Services District No. 6, making the taxing district responsible for emergency services in the area.
Most of the affected area, estimated to be less than 5 square miles, is south of Weatherford’s ETJ and includes properties along Bethel Road, Tin Top Road, Cleburne Highway and Granbury Highway, as well as Harmony Road, Harmony Circle, Kinbrook Lane, Kelly Brook Lane, Mountain View Drive, Stoneridge Trail, and several other streets.
A public hearing on the proposed annexation was scheduled for Wednesday night.
It’s not clear why the area was not included in earlier boundaries drawn when the district was created, though the district currently responds to most of the calls in the area.
The district currently has a tax rate of 9.74 cents per $100 valuation, just under the maximum 10 cents per $100 valuation allowed under state law.
The owner of a $100,000 house would pay less than $100 in taxes each year to the district under the current tax rate.
The district is estimating the proposed annexation would bring in less than $50,000 in revenue per year.
“If we were doing this just for income, it wouldn’t be worth it,” ESD No. 6 Chief George Teague said. “We just think we’re responding out there anyway most of the time so let them be a part of the district and pay us a little bit of money.”
The district has made significant strides in recent years to improve fire and emergency services coverage in the area, according to ESD No. 6 officials.
Since the beginning of the fiscal year, the district has had two paid firefighters at the station between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., a time when volunteer firefighters working day jobs may have trouble responding.
At least one of those firefighters is an EMT or paramedic, allowing the district to respond to medical calls, as well, according to the district.