DAYTON — People can see where their tax money goes this Sunday at an open house for Columbia County Fire District 3.

The event runs from 1-4 p.m. at the station, 111 Patit Road, Dayton, according to Chief Jeromy Phinney.

Columbia County voters approved an emergency medical services levy in 2018. The levy created a permanent tax of 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. It was expected to raise an estimated $458,798 per year and increase property taxes by $100 on a home with an assessed value of $200,000.

Besides showing the public “what EMS funds are spent on,” Phinney said he’s “always trying to drum up volunteers.” 

About 30 give their time to the district, he said, but he’d like more to ensure the public’s well-being. 

However, he said the amount needed depended on how much time and what skills volunteers could give.

“If I had volunteers who had all the time in the world and could do everything, I wouldn’t need as many,” he said, adding he placed no cap now on how many he would like to have.

Open houses at the station didn’t happen on a regular basis, Phinney said, but he tried to have them at least every couple of years.

Emily Thornton can be reached at or 509-526-8325.

Emily Thornton covers courts and emergency services, as well as other various stories. She has been in the newspaper industry off and on since roughly 1999 and lived primarily on the West Coast, but also Florida and Europe.