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A voter hands in a ballot at the polling location on Horseshoe Bend.

Both Osage Beach Fire Protection District ballot issues were defeated Tuesday, but the department will continue to provide the best service it can.

“While we are disappointed in the results of the election, the referendums were designed to execute a strategic plan to provide a higher level of service and to improve response times,” Fire Chief Paul Berardi said Wednesday morning. “Of course, we will continue to provide the current level of service that we are providing today.”

Both issues on the Camden and Miller county ballots were defeated handily.

•Results of Question 1 were: No 381 and Yes 268.

Camden County vote totals were 335 No, and Miller County vote totals were 46 No and 16 Yes.

•Results of Question 2 were: No 418 and Yes 233.

Camden County vote totals were 372 No and 217 Yes. Miller County votes were 46 No and 16 Yes.

Ballot Question 1

•Authorize issuance of general obligation bonds in the amount of $13 million to build, furnish and equip a new fire station including acquiring land to replace Fire Station 1 on Bluff Road; renovate the existing fire station; and purchase fire trucks, vehicles and other fire fighting and emergency equipment.

Ballot Question 2

•Authorize the Fire District to levy an additional 30 cents per $100 of assessed valuation to provide funds to support an emergency medical technician paramedic first responder program.

Fire District officials hoped to relocate Fire Station No. 1 from its current location at 1170 Bluff Drive to an undetermined location to provide better access to Osage Beach Parkway and its couplers. They estimate doing so would increase average response time from approximately 8.59 minutes to 5.5 minutes 85 percent of the time.

In addition, the Fire District hoped to implement a new Advanced Life Support Emergency Medical Service Division. The bond revenue would be used to buy three pickup size EMS Quick Response Vehicles, heart monitors and two brush fire apparatus. The levy increase would have paid for operating costs of the new ALS Division.

“At this point, I don’t know the reasons for the poor results, but we will evaluate if we did not sufficiently inform our public of the need, or if the public is simply making it known that are satisfied with the current level of service they receive,” Berardi offered.

The Fire Chief said he will re-evaluate the two issues, if it is an all-or-nothing proposition, the reasons they failed and determine a path forward.

“While I don’t decide if the Fire District will call for another special election, my thought is that in my re-analysis of our average response time of 8 minutes and 56 seconds, the shortage of advanced life support EMS service in our District, and the projected population growth of the area the need will still exist,” he said.

This article originally appeared on Lake Sun Leader: Fire chief discusses failed ballot issues, what's next