A note from Fire Chief Kris Kazian
WSFR is looking for your input!
The WSFR staff and Board of Directors are preparing for future growth and maintaining our ability to respond to emergencies throughout our 100 square mile fire district. We are seeking community input on our future funding options and have created a short survey for residents and business owners to complete.
Through our analysis of historical response data, we have identified an imminent need to build Station 4 and we have also set our sights on the upcoming need for Station 5 in the next seven to eight years. As we have all heard, we have seen and expect to continue to see incredible growth in our fire district. Some reports show our population doubling and considerable expansion of housing throughout our fire district. It is incumbent on me as the Fire Chief and our Fire District Board, to evaluate and plan for future needs including strategically locating fire stations and purchasing necessary equipment to allow for quick and effective responses to emergencies in all areas within WSFR.
There are many technical nuances to how Fire Districts are funded and in the most basic sense, we levy a mill rate to determine how much we need in taxes. It has been over 10 years since we asked and were granted an increase by the voters. We have worked hard over the last 10 years to operate with the funds we have been entrusted with. We are again considering this to be the best time to strategically request three small increases as follows which would gradually take our mill rate to 8.75 over then next seven years. The breakdown of increases are as follows
· 2020- 0.556 (7.75 total)
· 2023- 0.500 (8.25 total)
· 2026- 0.500 (8.75 total)
This increase is projected to have as limited of an impact as we can while still being able to fund the addition of the two necessary stations, the personnel, training, and the needed fire trucks and equipment to implement our plan and allow for effective response in our growing community.
I am sure you wonder what this will cost you. When we look at the average home in our fire district, it has a taxable market value of $357,000 and the increase in the mill rate is estimated to be less than $2 a month over the next 10 years. If your home is valued at $700,000 it would be less than $4 a month.
Maybe you own a commercial building and you want to know how it will impact you. The average commercial building is valued at $551,000 and with the mill rate increase, you would expect to see an increase of less than $12 a month over the 10-year period.
WSFR is committed to working to be able to provide the best emergency services to our community. We have developed a quick survey to help get the input of the people in our community. It will only take 3 or 4 minutes and it will help us understand what our community values and what we can do to improve our services. We highly value your input! I am always here to help answer any further questions or meet with you or a group to discuss our planning for the future and the financial considerations. You can either visit www.wsfr.us, or scan the QR code above to take the survey.
970-686-2626 ext 310
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