The board of directors for the district headquartered in Climax Springs is seeking one 23-cent levy increase and one 37-cent increase in the April 3, 2018 election.

The Northwest Fire Protection District is seeking a significant bump in its property tax levy through two ballot questions in April.

The board of directors for the district headquartered in Climax Springs is seeking one 23-cent levy increase and one 37-cent increase in the April 3, 2018 election.

“The NWFPD has not had a levy increase in decades, in a time span when costs of operations increased exponentially. While these proposed levies seek increases, they will provide an important and much improved level of protection for the District, and the costs may be completely offset by lowering the ISO rating used by insurance companies for rates, thereby netting a resultant decrease in insurance costs,” according to a prepared statement from the board in a press release.

According to information provided by board member Michael Cundiff, the first proposed increase is for costs associated with managing operational functions of the district — maintaining the current level of apparatus and equipment.

The second levy, said Cundiff, includes a 20-year sunset clause and looks to boost the budget to try to improve service, mainly aiming at an attempt to lower the district’s Insurance Services Organization (ISO) rating. Some insurance companies, but all, use this rating as one factor in its calculations on home insurance premiums. A better rating could mean savings for some, offsetting the cost of the levy increase.

The NWFPD has had an ISO of 9, one step up from the bottom rating, for many years.

The 175-square-mile district has an approximately $160,000 annual budget from its current levy of $0.2615 per $100 of assessed valuation, or approximately 26 cents. 

According to information provided by the NWFPD, the district has an assessed valuation of more than $62 million. The 23-cent proposed increase would generate more than $142,000 the 37-cent proposal, more than $229,000.

With everything that is proposed combined, the district would have an annual budget of approximately $540,000.

The NWFPD is an all-volunteer organization covering parts of Camden, Benton and Hickory counties. 

It should be noted that there are two board positions open in the April election as well with three candidates running. Candidates include Roger Leas, incumbent, John Montemayor and Mike Klossner.