Longview fire captain grateful passing of bond to support firefighters ‘past, present and future’

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Published: May. 9, 2022 at 1:31 PM CDT|Updated: May. 9, 2022 at 7:28 PM CDT
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LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - Longview firefighters are breathing a sigh of relief after the Longview Firefighter Obligation Bond passed in Saturday’s election. The 45.6-million-dollar bond was passed with 59 percent of the vote.

Longview Fire Captain Kolby Beckham is also Chairman of the Longview Fireman’s Relief and Retirement Fund. He says he and pretty much the whole department are exited about the pension obligation bond passing on May 7.

“Especially considering the climate of the economy in a tough area right now; housing prices, valuations going up. The fact that our community Longview came together and showed their support for the fire department here in Longview is absolutely wonderful,” Beckham said.

Beckham says this will benefit the entire Longview Fire Department.

“This is about the retirees that have been retired and worked for the fire department during their career. This is about the active firemen and firefighters that have been working at the fire department from one day to twenty or thirty years, and it’s about the future firefighters that are to come to work here,” Beckham said.

And he says a healthy pension fund is a big attractor for future employees. Some retired firefighters weren’t initially aware that the retirement fund could run out in two or three decades, but they were informed and:

“A lot of them showed up at the polls to support, obviously, something that directly affects them,” Beckham said.

He says election day was a bit of a nail biter for him and the department but:

“I had a good feeling based off the citizen’s comments. And I was pleased to see that it went through especially during a time when a lot of bonds had difficulties across East Texas,” Beckham said.

Beckham ads now is a good time to get the loan since interest rates are projected to go up in the future.

Captain Beckham says the cost to Longview taxpayers is about $34 a year per $166,000 property value.

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