The Lewisville Fire Control, Prevention, and Emergency Medical Services District (Fire Prevention District) has called a special election for May 5 in which Castle Hills residents will decide whether to join the district.
Lewisville City Council, acting as the district’s board of directors, called the election Feb. 13.
With the annexation of Castle Hills targeted as early as 2021, the community joining the Fire Prevention District now would bring it one step closer to having all of the municipal services offered by Lewisville.
Currently, Castle Hills’ sales tax rate is 7.5 percent, of which 6.25 percent goes to the state, 1 to Lewisville and .25 to Parks Development. If the measure passes it will become 7.625 percent compared to Lewisville’s 8.25.
Lewisville’s rate is the same but also includes 0.125 percent for the Crime Prevention District and .50 percent for the Denton County Transportation Authority.
The Lewisville Fire Prevention District levies an eighth-cent sales tax to support fire department services. If Castle Hills voters opt to join the district, it would collect an estimated $200,000 in additional sales tax revenue per year, which would help pay operating expenses at the new Fire Station No. 8 currently under construction on Josey Lane. The city will budget about $2 million annually to operate the station starting this fall, including 18 new firefighter positions.
When completed this year, Fire Station No. 8 will share with existing Fire Station No. 6 the primary response duties for rapidly growing east Lewisville, including Castle Hills. Currently, those primary response duties are handled only by Fire Station No. 6.
If voters choose to join the district, it will not change the amount Castle Hills pays Lewisville for fire services.
Lewisville provides fire and emergency medical services to Castle Hills through an agreement with Denton County Fresh Water Supply District 1-A, which manages the Castle Hills development. This year’s contract charge for fire services is $641,451.71.
State law requires any change in sales tax rates to happen at the start of a fiscal quarter, so if passed, the tax is effective either July 1 or Oct. 1.
Early voting starts April 23 and continues through May 1. Election day voting will be at the Queen Margaret Community Center, 2501 Queen Margaret Drive, Lewisville.