After failing to gain public support on the April ballot, Mid-County Fire Protection District succeeded in the approval of a $0.19 levy increase during the August 7 elections.

After failing to gain public support on the April ballot, Mid-County Fire Protection District succeeded in the approval of a $0.19 levy increase during the August 7 elections.

The levy previously held a value of $0.3899 per $100 of assessed value. This was the lowest in the lake area, with the next coming from the OBFPD at $0.5934 per $100. Even with the passed increase, setting the levy at $0.5799, Mid-County still holds the lowest. Even so, Fire Chief Scott Frandsen is grateful for the community support. He sources the success from the higher voter turnout seen due to other races in the area. Also, he says the fire district had three additional months of advertising and campaigning to spread the knowledge of what they were trying to achieve with the funds.

“I had many people around the area tell me after the April vote that they weren’t aware of what the levy was for. I think we did a better job of informing people of the cause,” Frandsen said.

At a board meeting on August 9, Frandsen says the Mid County board will meet to discuss how they will act on securing the new full-time personal in Greenview Station #2. He says that he is going to push for both candidates to be in the station and ready to work within 30 to 60 days of the meeting.

The hiring process will be conducted through the Tri-state Fire Recruitment Alliance. This group, consisting of 15 fire departments, does quarterly testing sessions that showcase individual fire fighters in the area for recruitment. Frandsen says they will use this service to scout already proven candidates that could fill the new spots quickly. He says they would prefer if the new staff would be EMT certified, but is confident in their own teaching to fill that need if necessary.

As for volunteering efforts, Frandsen says that much of how they are currently operating will remain the same. Though the full time employees will alleviate some stress at Station #2, he says the need for volunteers will continue to be a high priority. However, those who are currently working solely at Greenview may now be able to work from a station that is closer to their home.

Frandsen wants to thank the district for voting yes and says they will continue to work hard to prove this money is well spent. He sees this as a step towards a shift in community perspective of the district, which he says they are always working toward improving.

Lake Ozark Fire Protection District was also able to get voter approval for a levy for ambulance service. Voters approved a 30-cent levy increase for operation of the district’s ambulance service. The increase will allow the district to add and staff an additional ambulance.

Lake Ozark Fire Chief Mark Amsinger said the plan is to have the additional ambulance on the road within the next year. Once that happens, the district will be running three ambulances within the 42 square miles of the district.

Ambulances will be stationed on Horseshoe Bend, the main station on Bagnell Dam Blvd. and on the north shore. That will allow the district to decrease response times to calls.

According to information provided by the LOFPD, the assessed valuation for the fire district has remained flat over the past 17 years, however their costs have increased dramatically. The additional tax will cost a homeowner with a house assessed at $400,000 an additional $228 a year. Residents of the district will be soft billed, meaning that a bill is sent to their insurance for payment.

Residents will not be required to pay their deductible or co-insurance. The district will use the property taxes paid by the resident in lieu of the deductible.

Amsinger said the district is fortunate because the community has always been supportive of the district. The district did try and get out ahead of the vote to educate voters on the need for the tax. But without the support of the residents, the district would not be in a position to grow and provide better services to the community.