For Immediate Release
August 18, 2020
WSFR Pursues De-Gallagherization on 2020 Ballot
Community Members and Business Leaders,
These are unprecedented times. We remain committed to serving our residents and business owners, each and every one of you, in your time of need including best access to quick and effective 9-1-1 services. We hope that knowing we are here ready and prepared to respond to your emergency, provides peace of mind.
As your Fire Chief, and on behalf of the WSFR Board of Directors, our goal is to make sure we are working proactively for your safety. We are grateful to our taxpayers who support us in prioritizing the professional and compassionate care we are proud to provide. Today, we want to share some challenges we are facing related to economics and public health that have the potential to impact our services. Specifically, WSFR is projecting a $750,000 reduction in revenue, equal to an 18% decrease, in our 2021 operational budget.
It is never an easy decision to come before you with any type of request for funding. However, the Board of Directors and I have determined the only way to continue to provide the level of emergency service you expect is to ask you to “de-Gallagherize” the fire district via a ballot measure in November. While the Gallagher Amendment is complicated (see explanation below), what’s simply said is that if the community votes to “de-Gallagherize” the fire district, it will give us the ability to adjust our taxing rate to compensate for any reductions in the residential assessment rate, which would otherwise reduce our funding. This is NOT a tax rate increase from what you pay today; rather, it is a STABILIZATION of what you are paying now.
Stabilization of our funding will give us the ability to do what you, the voters, approved and trusted WSFR to do in November 2019:
• Improve response times for all fire stations
• Enhance firefighter and community safety.
• Build, equip, staff, and train Fire Station 4 located at Hilltop and New Liberty Road to serve the immediate area and improve our services districtwide
We are doing everything we can to extend our abilities with your tax dollars and other revenue sources including writing grants to help fund Station 4 and additional personnel. We remain committed to being good stewards of the tax money entrusted to us.
There will be an individual ballot coming to your mailbox at election time with one question requesting the ability to adjust our taxing rate to compensate for any reductions in the residential assessment rate. We are asking this of you for one reason—to maintain our ability to provide great service.
I am always available for additional information and happy to discuss this topic with you or with any group, in person or virtually, to explain our needs now and in the future. This is truly about our ability to respond to you, your family, or your business, effectively and quickly. Stay tuned. We will continue to work on educating the community on our needs and answering your questions.
970.686.2626 Ext 310
About the Gallaher Amendment
The Gallagher Amendment, approved back in 1982, determines the statewide residential assessment rate which is one of the key factors that determines the amount of taxes you will pay for a residential property. This calculation is based on a formula/ratio of business to residential property values. Because of an unintended conflict with the TABOR Amendment, passed in 1992, the assessment rate for residential can be lowered but never raised, despite how well or bad the economy is performing at the time without the vote of the taxpayers. The residential assessment rate has been ratcheting down slowly, and at a rate we could budget for and absorb, over the past four decades. Because of the given state of the economy and other related factors, we are anticipating an 18 percent reduction in the residential assessment rate for 2022 which is an economic hit like we’ve never seen before. This means a significant reduction in WSFR’s annual revenue which will have short- and long-term impacts on our ability to effectively operate and serve our community which is why we are asking you to consider passing the ballot question.
Due to shoulder work the northbound lane of Weld County Road 23 just south of W…
🚧 Due to shoulder work the northbound lane of Weld County Road 23 just south of Weld County Road 76 (near the Larimer and Weld Canal) will be closed on Wednesday September 30th, 2020 during daytime hours. Drivers can expect delays during peak traffic hours and may want to consider alternate routes. As always, please use caution in the project area, and observe traffic control signage and flagger instructions. 🚧
WSFR has 2 fire engines and 2 trucks working at the Cameron Peak Fire which grew…
WSFR has 2 fire engines and 2 trucks working at the Cameron Peak Fire which grew to over 120,000 acres. There were large wind gusts that pushed the fire this weekend. Our crews continue to work hard alongside the nearly 1,000 other wildland firefighters on the ground. Here are a few pics from the last few days. #cameronpeakfire
Tonight the 700pm hour proved quite busy for WSFR! 7:12 structure fire in the …
Tonight the 700pm hour proved quite busy for WSFR!
7:12 structure fire in the area of 23 and 80 Severance – working fire on arrival.
7:33 medical call in Windsor
7:53 cardiac arrest in Severance
As part of the structure fire response WSFR received assistance from Eaton and Ault to the scene, recalled off duty WSFR personnel and Loveland Fire Rescue Authority respond with an engine to cover Windsor station 1. LFRA ended up assisting on the cardiac arrest incident in Severance.
Units are still on scene at the structure fire but fire is under control at this time.
When incidents occur where they are labor intensive and extend beyond our capabilities, we utilize neighboring agencies to meet the incident needs and assist one another- like good neighbors do!