On Election Day, voters in the Ruth community in Arab will vote on a referendum to give $5 a month to their volunteer fire department.
"It means the community is actually behind us, wants to see things get better and they can really support us," said Ruth Volunteer Fire Chief Joshua Ballew on what the community voting "yes" would signal to him.
Ruth Fire Chief Joshua Ballew said a $5 a month fire service fee from each household they serve could be a game changer for the department.
"We could buy new equipment, replace old equipment that's outdated and antiquated," said Ballew.
"We could have better training for our firefighters and most importantly attract more firefighters," explained George Winborne, chairman of the Ruth Fire Department board of directors.
The referendum reads: "Do you favor the assessment of a fire service fee in the amount of $5.00 dollars a month for the purpose of funding fire protection services in this volunteer fire district?"
Voters we talked to say they plan to vote yes.
"They're hurting for money, I know," said Bruce Weaver about why he plans to vote yes.
The department's yearly budget ranges from $8,000 to $10,000, but department representatives say that's not enough. If the referendum passes, that could mean thousands of dollars more for the department.
"It would mean not having to scrimp and save and fight to get by on things," said Ballew.
The referendum will only be on the ballot for Marshall County voters who live in the Ruth fire district. If approved, the fee will be collected by the revenue commissioner and some households will be excluded from paying based on need.