With hopes of seeing a levy increase after the next election, Mid County Fire Protection District is taking it to the streets. To educate voters, the district is hosting town hall meetings this month around their coverage area.
"In the ongoing effort to educate the residents of our district about the upcoming ballot issue for a $0.12 (12 cent) levy increase for general operations the Mid County Fire District Board of Directors will be conducting town hall meetings at four of the District’s fire stations. These meetings will allow residents to ask questions about the levy issue and talk to their elected board members about the programs and services the District offers," district officials said in a press release.
The release also assured voters that if the levy increase is successful, the funds will only be used to maintain the current level of service the district provides. No new vehicles or paid personnel will be added with these funds.
"The District has never had an increase to its general operating levy since it was formed in 1986 and finds that it cannot keep up with current costs for repairs, maintenance and insurance. The District has been using reserve funds and federal grants to continue annual operating costs which are depleting. The District has already made cuts to operations; however these cuts were not enough to offset budget shortfalls. If the levy is unsuccessful additional substantial cuts will be needed. The Board of Directors wants to stress that this levy increase is the minimum required to maintain our current level of service," the release stated.
The election is set for Nov. 5.
Numbers to know...
Current working budget: Approximately $854,976
HR (salaries, workmans comp, insurance, etc)- $618,412
What is left- $256,650
10 full time employees (6 of those firefighters)
fleet of 30
respond to 1,200 to 1,300 calls per year
current levy- 26 cents
proposal- 38 cents
12 cent increase in the general fund