Residents in the Mid County Fire Protection District will soon head to the polls and have a chance to vote on a levy increase.
Ever since the district announced the proposed levy increase, they have made it clear that this ballot issue is to maintain the current level of service. If the increase does not pass and the current level of service cannot be maintained, district officials say some cuts will have to be made.
Mid County covers a total of 220 square miles and currently has a levy of 0.2653 which is the lowest levy when compared to surrounding districts and is lower than it was when the district was formed in 1986 according to Chief Scott Frandsen. Like any business, costs have increased since the '80s. Electric bills, gas bills and vehicle maintenance all have risen in price affecting Mid County exponentially.
Mid County firefighters responded to 1,400 calls in 2012. The average response time to all of those calls was approximately 11 minutes.
"I'm really proud of the level of service we have and the variety of services we offer," Frandsen said.
The reality the chief is now faced with is what will happen if the levy does not pass.
"The district's fear is not having the money to maintain the current fleet," Chief Fransden said.
Not being able to maintain the fleet could mean longer response times and possible fleet cuts. The board of directors has not made a decision on what to cut at this time but Frandsen said it is safe to say that everything is on the table including the amount of training that firefighters do and the intern program.