EVANGELINE PARISH, La. (KLFY) — In Evangeline Parish, the police jury is expecting to bring relief to the community thanks to the merger of two fire districts.

Bryan Vidrine, Evangeline Parish Police Jury President, said, “This is a merger we’ve been working on for several years. In 1987 the police jury separated the Long Pine area from the Ward five fire district. Since then their fire ratings have gone up.”

By merging the Long Pine and Ward five fire districts, Vidrine said experience and equipment will have crews better prepared to protect the community.

“Long Pine has worked hard, they have upped their training, this is going to help Ward five having those very qualified volunteers coming into their district,” Vidrine said. “And as well as Ward five having better equipment would also assist long pine.”

While helping fire crews, the merger will also bring relief to residents by lowering property taxes.

“So this will lower property insurance, as it already has, it will continue to lower,” Vidrine said. “The goal is in 2023 when they re-rate for them to hopefully be at a four which will lower the insurance for all the people of Ward five and Long Pine Fire Districts. And it’s really brought the community together because they’ve worked on this together as a community to get to this point.”

Following tonight’s meeting, Vidrine said the next step will be seeking approval of the merger from Turkey Creek.