LEADWOOD — The Leadwood Fire Protection District hasn’t had a tax increase in more than 10 years, yet the number of calls it responds to has increased by 104 percent. The district is asking voters to approve a 50 cent tax levy on the April 7 ballot to help offset expenses. If passed residents in the fire district will pay an additional 50 cents per $100 of assessed valuation for real estate and personal property.
“We need this,” said Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Lewis. “Right now we have a general revenue of about $67,000. If this passes we are projecting that will double.”
Lewis said the extra revenue will be used to offset rising costs of responding to calls and to add a paid firefighter to the department. The firefighter would work from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday while most of our volunteers are at work.”
Lewis said having a trained and experienced person in the station during the day would provide crucial life-saving minutes in medical situations and would also improve response times.
The duties of the paid position would include maintenance of the trucks, fire house and other equipment, firefighting and EMS services, keeping department members up on training, answering questions from the general public and insurance agencies regarding the fire district and pre-incident planning for new and existing commercial buildings.
According to statistics released by the department, 50 percent of all medical calls in 2008 occurred between 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
In order for the tax levy to pass it will need a simple majority.
A meeting about the tax levy is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday at the Leadwood fire station. Another meeting is 11 a.m. Saturday at the fire station.