Following a recent public meeting for the Gravois fire protection district, trustees for the district approved the 2014 operating budget tax levy that had been discussed in detail. According to Fire Chief Ed Hancock, this is a formal process required by the state. The district’s tax levy is based on voter approved rates that depend greatly on new developments, which unfortunately have been severely stagnant since the downfall of the economy in 2008. Due to the lack of development, the rate has remained low which prohibits Chief Hancock from hiring additional personal needed to protect the citizens of the community. The board did approve to allow Chief Hancock to negotiate a mutual aid agreement with Sunrise Beach fire and Gravois fire to help lighten the load.