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The following letter was written in regard to the Squires Fire Department and the area covered by that organization. But because it pertains to all residents of Douglas County, we are running it as an open letter to all.
All the rural fire departments of Douglas County (excluding the city of Ava) operate as membership organizations, meaning there is no tax base for the department. Each department operates solely on the membership dues collected from within their boundaries.
Following is the letter:
“As a resident of the fire district I would like to ask all residents of the fire district to support our fire department. We have over 700 residents in the district with about 250 dues paying members. The non-paying residents receive the same protection without paying anything. The dues are only $40 a year (this amount varies with different departments). Missouri state statute reads that if the fire department responds to a fire for a non-paying resident, they can be charged up to $750. Come on people, join and support your fire department.”
The letter was signed simply, “a dues paying member for over 20 years.”