In Texas, an Emergency Service District (ESD) may be formed to provide emergency services within its boundaries and is a separate political subdivision.
A petition is required to begin the process of a new ESD. One hundred signatures of qualified voters/property owners is necessary, and it is turned in to the County Commissioner’s Court. The boundaries are also defined to the Court and a future election is called when approved by the Commissioners.
Once an ESD is formed, it is governed by a board of 5 elected directors.
ESDs are all set up and operated differently based on the needs and capabilities within the communities they serve.
- Why do we need an ESD?
- Wolfforth Fire and EMS currently serves a rural population, in addition to the City, of almost 3 times the taxable valuation of the City itself.
- Volunteerism is waning, and it will become necessary to have additional paid staff.
- Current facilities aren’t sufficient to house the increase in Fire and EMS staffing requirements.
- Growth in the area will necessitate new types of firefighting equipment that is capable of serving taller and larger structures.
- Is this a separate tax?
- Yes, an ESD board has the ability to asses up to 10 cents per hundred of a property’s valuation.
- Will my taxes go up?
- For Wolfforth residents, taxes will go down over time, as the taxation for the operation of emergency services is spread over the larger property tax base. This will take 1-3 years as the transition is made from the City to the ESD.
- Residents that are served by the ESD will see a new tax that will support the increased capabilities and coverage provided by the ESD.
- Over 65/Disabled residents of Wolfforth, please check with City Hall, as each case is a little different.
For additional information, please call City Manager Darrell Newsom, City Secretary Debbie Perkey, or your Council Person at Wolfforth City Hall 806-855-4120.