Sixth of a Cent Sales Tax Dollars At Work

In April of 2021, Creek County voters approved a 1/6 of a cent county-wide sales tax to fund fire departments throughout the county by distributing this tax equally to all 15 fire departments, of which only three are full-time departments. The other 12 are volunteer-based and mostly in rural areas. These smaller rural fire departments often receive no city funding and relied on donated equipment, grants, and even bake sales to provide fire services to their districts prior to the additional county-wide tax.

Kiefer Fire Department is all-volunteer and like many smaller, rural fire departments has struggled with funding. Thanks to this new funding mechanism, KFD recently purchased a 2022 Ford F350 Pickup to use as a grass rig. 

Kiefer firefighters stand with their new grass rig truck. From left to right: Trent Hoover, Dalton Ray, Matthew Mefford, Blake Chapman, Daniel Mefford, Brock Capehart, and Riley Coats.

Kiefer Fire Chief Chad Blankenship told the Sapulpa Herald that state-bid vehicles are hard to find. They were able to save substantially by purchasing a white truck and putting a red body wrap on the vehicle. The Chief’s frugality in selecting outfitters and a white truck saved Kiefer between $60,000 and $80,000.

Even though the Town of Kiefer funds much of the operating and maintenance expenses of the Kiefer Fire Department, many times the fire runs are outside the town limits.

“Our fire department covers 15 square miles. Our city pays for this fire department. So, this is just the county saying, ‘hey, most of your calls are in the county and you and your city pay for all that, so we are going to help with this tax to help cover some of  the costs when you get outside your city limits.’

Chief Blankenship pointed out that Kiefer could mandate that the Kiefer Fire Department only cover the town limits, however, “they want to help everyone, just like we do.”

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