Fire Department continuation on the ballot this Saturday

Allison B. Hudson

The 5-mill, 10-year property tax was first approved in 2002, and was dedicated to major capital expenses, primarily trucks and a new station, and generates about $100,000 a year.

Over the 10-year period since it went into effect, it has collected approximately $1,028,000 to date, according to Fire Chief Chuck Montero.

Expenditures out of the fund to date are:

            Fire Department site study (6 possible sites were studied)             $29,132

            Computer System for Fire Department                                         $11,509

            2007 Fire Truck  *                                                                     $283,703

   *(Total cost of the truck was approximately $370,000, $90,000 came from different sources.)

To date the current fund balance is $703,583.

Chief Montero says that the current estimated cost of a new fire station is approximately $1.6-$2 million.

Montero said without the tax, the department would not able to replace outdated equipment, such as fire trucks, or build a needed replacement for the old city station built in 1960.

The tax expired Jan. 1, so the April 21 vote is a continuation rather than a renewal. If the tax is supported than the fire department will be able to collect taxes uninterrupted.