Friday, August 04, 2006

Approve fire district tax increase

It is the opinion of this candidate that if more houses are being constructed, more people moving into the area, more businesses moving into the area, that equates into more revenue into not only the fire district, but that of the police department and the schools.
For some reason this local area has a fire truck or two respond to every auto and/or truck accident even if the chance of fire is non existant. We have EMS/EMT and a host of other services that respond quite well to these types of accidents, why is a fire truck sent to a simple fender bender???

It would seem to me that the fire department should allocate its money to be an effective branch of civil government and stop playing politics. I grew up in an area about the size of Rogersville which had NO full time fire fighters nor did they have a large tax levy district to allot funds for new fire trucks and the like. My goodness what did they do when times were in need of fire equipment??? They approached the residents of Fayetteville, PA with the problem and had a fund raising campaign to purchase the equipment with cash so no loans were carried.

What happened to the days where instead of confiscating money via taxes the departments would approach the citizenry to finance a cash strapped entity? In this day an age 28% of the eligible voters will go to the polls of which 60%+ of that will inform the homeowners, business owners, that your cost are going up even though the case hasn't been made for more money.

Approve fire district tax increase

Logan-Rogersville has good plan for growth.

More people. More houses. More roads. More accidents. More fires.

To deal with burgeoning growth southeast of Springfield, the Logan-Rogersville Fire District is asking voters for a 12-cent property tax increase. We endorse their request.

Twice in the past few years the fire district has asked voters to approve a bond issue to help deal with growth in its three-county, 160-square-mile district, and both times voters said yes, but not by the supermajority needed to pass the bond issue. So fire district officials went to the citizens and asked for advice. They came up with a mill levy increase instead that will cost the owner of a $200,000 home about $45 a year. That seems like a lot of money for those folks who never have a fire or end up in a car accident.

But pick up the phone and dial 911 just once and you'll realize how important it is for firefighters to get to your home quickly.

That's what passing this tax increase will do: improve response times, particularly in the fastest growing area in Greene County.

The tax increase will fund 11 full-time firefighters and will allow the district to staff its busiest station — Station 2 on Blackman Road — 24 hours a day. That's the sort of protection homeowners in an urban area expect, and it's what Logan-Rogersville wants to provide.

Fire service takes care of one of our most basic government functions — safety — and it's why we wholeheartedly endorse this tax increase. As the area grows, we must pay for that growth sometimes by providing additional services. But there's a reward for our generosity. One of the benefits of improved fire coverage is decreased cost for homeowners insurance.

The Logan-Rogersville district has reduced their ISO rating to a 4, and that puts money right back in the pockets of taxpayers.

As calls for service increase, the only way to keep response times down is to increase personnel or build new stations. This will accomplish at least half the job by increasing paid staff and placing them at the busiest station.

Finally, the board of the fire district has spent its money wisely. Following the model of most fire districts in the Ozarks, Logan-Rogersville spends its money on paid personnel in the fire stations providing the day-to-day service to taxpayers. Money is not spent on bloated salaries for administrators. The district should be commended for that approach.

We urge citizens in the Logan-Rogersville Fire Protection District to vote yes on Proposition 1 on Tuesday.

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