Fire Protection in Limestone County.

The Limestone county governing body is authorized in its discretion to establish fire districts within the geographical boundaries of Limestone county, said districts to exclude any corporate municipality which does not request through resolution of its governing body to be made a part of and subject to the provisions of this amendment. The county governing body, in its discretion, may establish, in lieu of or in addition to said fire districts, a county fire department to furnish county-wide fire protection.

The governing body may name a fire marshal for Limestone county, whose principal duty shall be the coordination of fire protection within the county including all fire departments and fire stations, either in the district or county, and their full-time and part-time employees. Upon the request of the county governing body the fire marshal shall submit a budget for the county fire department and shall perform such other tasks related to fire protection as may, from time to time, be assigned to him by the county governing body.

The governing body is hereby authorized to fix a county fire protection tax, which tax shall become effective upon the approval of a majority of electors within any particular fire district or other area of the county where the tax is to be levied. The tax fixed by the governing body shall be based upon the value of real and personal property assessed by affected property owners, as shown on the records of the tax assessor of Limestone county, Alabama, and shall be assessed and collected as are all ad valorem taxes in the county. The amount collected each year from assessment of this fire protection tax shall be paid into the county general fund and used in furtherance of fire protection within the affected area.

The county governing body is hereby authorized upon approval by resolution adopted by said governing body to adopt, amend and repeal regulations for the safeguarding of life and property from the hazards of fire and explosion in the county, which shall be known as the Limestone County Fire Protection Code. Such regulations shall have the force and effect of law and any violation thereof may, within the discretion of the county governing body, constitute a Class A misdemeanor, as defined in Act No. 607, S. 33 of the 1977 Regular Session (Acts 1977, p. 812), and upon conviction thereof may be punishable by a fine not exceeding $1,000 or imprisonment in the county jail, not to exceed one year, or both fine and imprisonment. Said code shall be effective in all unincorporated areas of the county and in those incorporated areas which choose to come under the provisions of this act.

The county governing body is hereby authorized to employ or to authorize the employment of a fire marshal, fire inspectors, firemen, secretarial and clerical employees and any other employees which it deems necessary to carry out the provisions of this act and it is further authorized to make such expenditures for salaries, equipment, property (whether real, personal or mixed), or other expenses related to fire protection which it deems necessary to carry out the provisions of this amendment.

The legislature may provide for or amend, from time to time, any laws pertaining to fire districts in Limestone county.