To view and download the new Bradley County fire district map, go to: www.bradleyco.net/resources/18/GISMaps/fire_districts.pdf.
CLEVELAND, Tenn. - Bradley County's fire districts have changed to account for three fire stations - on Georgetown Road, Minnis Road and Dalton Pike - that began operations last summer.
The redistricting is based on whether homes and other properties are within five miles of Bradley County Fire & Rescue stations that have full-time, paid staff, County Mayor D. Gary Davis said.
These include the downtown and Tasso Lane stations in addition to the new stations.
The redistricting will mean higher fire taxes for properties included in the expanded primary fire district, but fire tax rates have not been raised, said Davis.
"The reclassification of properties located within five miles of these stations reflects the improved fire services and protection they now receive," said Davis.
The redistricting affects about 3,000 parcels, said Stanley Thompson, assessor of property for Bradley County. Fire taxes are based on the assessed value of properties and are included in property tax notices, he said.
Before the new stations were built, fire protection in the affected area was provided for the most part through a contract with the Cleveland Fire Department that was paid by fire taxes. That agreement ended June 30, 2013.
Bradley County Fire & Rescue also is moving closer to establishing a first-class training center, said Fire Chief Troy Maney.
The department plans to build a 100-foot-long concrete pad next to the Dalton Pike station where it can conduct burn exercises, including vehicle, dumpster and tank fires, Maney said. Grading work is done, but no date has been set for the concrete pouring, said Maney.
The training center, which also incorporates structural fire simulations using stacked cargo containers, is a long-term project, he said.
"We probably have five more years to go before we are complete," said Maney. "We put funding toward the training center as we are able with each year."
The training facility upgrades are a must, considering the department hired 40 firefighters to staff its new stations, he said.
In addition to county funding, the department has also received considerable donations of labor, time and services in support of the growing training site, he said.
Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.