POINT PLEASANT — A mail fundraising campaign for the Point Pleasant Volunteer Fire Department currently circulating the area is not a scam.
As reported back in June, the PPVFD announced it would be sending letters to residents in its coverage area asking for voluntary donations — an area which is a significant part of Mason County and will reach around 5,000 homes. The letters spell out a budget shortfall, what the fire department does and the expenses it faces.
Now that the letters have officially started going out, Chief Jeremy Bryant said he’s received several calls from residents concerned it is a scam. Bryant wants to get the word out that it’s not a scam, it’s just an unfortunate financial reality. The department is asking for voluntary donations to help make up for the shortfall while maintaining the level of service to the community.
As previously reported, the budget shortfall had to do with cuts at the county level to all fire departments, and other outside agencies, due to a significant loss in personal property revenue in Class III and Class IV, which is defined as non-residential property.
The latest cut in county funding went into effect July 1. In specific terms of the PPVFD, for fiscal year 2012-13 it received $31,000 a year from the county commission, then in FY 2013-14 that funding dropped to $15,500 and in FY 2014-15, the funding goes to $5,500. The commission did unexpectedly receive money from the Tax Loss Restoration Fund last year and gave all six fire departments in the county an additional $5,000, though that money is not expected to return this year. That money was from the state for communities which suffered a loss in tax revenue from utilities — the dismantling of units at the Philip Sporn Plant has been a major factor in these tax losses.
As such, many fire departments are getting creative about raising funds which is why the mailing campaign was started by the PPVFD.
The PPVFD has also been showing up at local events with a concession stand which will be set up on the midway of the Mason County Fair next week.
“We know everyone needs to eat and drink at these events and hope they will keep us in mind when making their dining plans at these events,” Bryant has said.
Also, on Sept. 27 at Riverside Golf Course, the second Point Pleasant Fire Department Golf Scramble will take place. Sign ups begin Aug. 1.
If any resident has questions about the validity of the mail fundraiser they received, stop in at the fire department on Jackson Avenue or call (304) 675-2313