The East Contra Costa Fire District has fallen on hard times, and the agency's board of directors is weighing whether to put a parcel tax on the June ballot to keep fire stations open.

If you'd like to weigh in on this issue, join fire Chief Hugh Henderson and Vince Wells, president of Local 1230, United Professional Firefighters of Contra Costa County, along with East County Times reporter Rowena Coetsee for a live online chat from noon to 1 p.m. Monday at ContraCostaTimes.com.

The district says it will have to close two stations if a parcel tax measure fails, leaving three fire houses to serve approximately 105,000 residents. But the results of a poll the firefighters' union commissioned last month indicate that there's not enough voter support for an annual tax -- about $98 for approximately five years -- to warrant pushing ahead with the election.

Directors now must decide whether to try anyway or postpone a vote until November.



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