Mid County Fire Protection District officials and board members are hoping to see an increase in the district's tax levy for the first time since 2000. In the upcoming November election, the district is asking for a 12-cent increase in their levy, which is 18 cents less than what they have asked for in the past according to Chief Scott Frandsen.
"Our cost of business is constantly spiraling up," Frandsen said.
For him, the levy increase is needed simply to maintain the day-to-day happenings in the district. Mid County covers 220 square miles and is one of the largest fire districts in the lake area and state of Missouri.
With ten-full time staff members including the Chief, Fire Marshal, Building Inspector, Administrative Assistant and six full-time firefighters, plus 15 interns and 28 volunteers, it is safe to say that Mid County is a fast-growing district. The district owns six stations, a fleet of 30 vehicles and responds to about 1,200 to 1,300 calls per year.
"The situation has gotten to a critical point," Frandsen said. "We are just asking for what is needed to maintain what we have."
The Board of Directors voted to move forward with the proposed levy increase at the August meeting. Rod Sederwall made the motion to approve the levy increase being put on the ballot with a second from Mike High.
"When you reach a point when you have problems with the budget, you have to do something," Sederwall told the Lake Sun.
According to Sederwall, that something is letting the people decide.
The board plans to hold workshops soon to discuss in more depth what the levy will impact. Town hall meetings will be held before the election to allow the public to learn more before heading to the polls on Nov. 5.