DREXEL, Mo. — The roar of lifesaving sirens may soon go silent in Drexel, Missouri.
Drexel, which is home to less than 1,000 people, depends on the Central Cass County Fire Prevention District for ambulance service.
The small town hasn’t been able to support its own ambulances since 1999 and ambulance service has been provided via a handshake agreement.
“We have to find a way to fund this,” said Chief Sheryl Greene with the Drexel Volunteer Fire Department.
Time is of the essence, according to Greene. Central Cass recently informed her the city of Drexel would need to start paying a small fee for service. Money that would likely come from taxes. Central Cass leaders said they need to cut off service by October.
“I would like them to understand that Drexel has been very fortunate in that they’ve not had to pay for this service in the past,” Greene said. “It was always a courtesy, and now, that courtesy? We can’t fund it.”
Central Cass also depends on users in cities like Harrisonville, Missouri for funding.
“All we need is enough to keep going,” said Chief Charles Jones with the Central Cass County Fire Prevention District.
Jones shared with FOX4 registered letters that have been sent to the city of Drexel and the numerous extensions granted for cutting off service.
“We feel like we’ve tried, and none of the options have been equitable,” Jones said. “All we need to continue service is for their citizens to pay the same levy that our citizens are paying.”
Some people in Drexel seem willing to pay.
“What they’d have to do out here, further away from the metro area, I would gladly contribute,” Steve Graham, who lives in Drexel said. “If we had a local ambulance it would be a lot better for the local area here. Not just Drexel, but the area within three or four miles.”
However, one resident opposed to paying more taxes points out Drexel sits in a secluded area, and in his observation, by the time an ambulance arrives, you might be in trouble.
Leaders in Drexel hope to see this measure on a ballot sometime next year.
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