ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — Citizens in Hazelwood sued the Robertson Fire Protection District in north St. Louis County, accusing board members of wasting their tax dollars.

Among other things, the lawsuit criticized the board’s spending on vehicles. They said salaries are too high, and they don’t like the board getting free health insurance at taxpayers’ expense.

Besides the lawsuit, citizens said they plan to try to recall board members from office. They said they want a board that’s a better steward of taxpayers’ money.

But the board disagreed with that characterization of their performance. They insisted they’re good stewards. They also said the citizens’ group is aligned with the City of Hazelwood. Board members couldn’t talk about the issue surrounding the vehicles, as advised by their attorneys.

Hazelwood has three fire districts providing fire protection. One is the Florissant Fire Protection District. The other is Hazelwood’s own fire department. Then, there’s Robertson that Hazelwood pays $4.5 million a year to protect a part of the town.

Hazelwood’s mayor told FOX 2’s Elliott Davis his city could cover Robertson’s area in Hazelwood for $1.5 million less than it’s paying the fire district. Hazelwood inherited the Robertson Fire Protection District when it annexed the area, and the fire district came along with the deal.

So far, the city has not been able to get out of the contract. It tried to break the contract with the fire district and was sued.

The President of the Fire District Joan Noel said, “Again, they’re trying to bully us. We’ve been good stewards of the money. They’re trying to bully us to try to make it seem like we’re the bad guys when we have done nothing wrong.”