Proposed consolidation, public hearing

— The town of Van Buren will hold a public hearing regarding a proposed consolidation of the Lakeside Fire District and the Southeastern Fire Protection District at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 19, at the town hall, corner of Ellsworth and Van Buren roads.

In development for a couple months, the town attorney, Jeff Brown, and fire department attorney have developed a proposal in which Van Buren residents will see a tax reduction from $1.74 to $1.05 per thousand of assessed value, which is a 40 percent reduction. There will be a small increase in taxes for those within the Lakeside Fire District that reside outside of Van Buren, however those residents will see more savings in cost sharing in future years.

Brown said the Lakeside Fire Department is very strong in terms of assets and liabilities and there should be no change in service for the residents.

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