The Southwest Fire Protection District will be asking for voters to approve a tax increase on the August ballot. The district is seeking a $0.25 tax increase to keep up with the rising cost of maintenance of vehicles, buildings, equipment, and fuel.

The Southwest Fire Protection District will be asking for voters to approve a tax increase on the August ballot. The district is seeking a $0.25 tax increase to keep up with the rising cost of maintenance of vehicles, buildings, equipment, and fuel.

According to a press release issued by division chief Josh Kingston, the decision to go to voters did not come lightly and the district will also be looking at operating a 10-year plan to build stations and water points throughout their coverage area. 

The stations and water points will benefit homeowners not only during needed response times but also through the potential lowering of home owners insurance rates. 

The 152-square-mile tax‐based fire district was formed in 2000 with the incorporation of the Lower Prairie Hollow Fire Department. They are the second largest district in the county and operate with the lowest tax income as an all volunteer service.  

The district currently operates 3 stations: 

Station 1: 130 State Rd N‐ Constructed in 2008 

Station 2: State Hwy 73‐Built on land that is leased (for $0) through an agreement with the Missouri Department of Conservation. 

Station 3: 983 Laura Hufferd Rd‐ originally the Lower Prairie Hollow Fire Dept. 

Presently, the district is operating with 10 volunteers who all have training in basic firefighting and emergency medical responder training (basic emergency medical care), with many also having advanced training. Currently two of the volunteers are EMT certified, and one is a Paramedic. Six volunteers also have advanced firefighter training. 

“Our district is proud of our training and the fact all volunteers worked hard to complete all basic training during their first year of service,” Kingston stated in the press release. “After basic training our volunteers continue to hone their fire and medical skills with a commitment to attend two‐hour training sessions each week.  Many volunteers even take advantage of additional training opportunities with neighboring districts!”

If voters approve the measure, it would be the first tax increase since the district was formed in 2000.The current tax rate is $0.2988 per $100 of assessed valuation. Voters are being asked to increase the rate by $0.25, bringing the total tax rate to just under $0.55. This will allow the district to keep up with the significantly rising cost of maintenance and equipment with the ultimate goal of keeping volunteers safe while providing optimal service to all district residents. 

Voters will be asked to vote for or against the following proposition on the August 6 ballot: Shall the board of directors of the Southwest Camden County Fire Protection District be authorized to levy an additional tax of not more than twenty‐five cents on the one hundred dollars assessed valuation to provide funds for the support of the district?