Eagle River Fire Protection District asking for tax hike
Tax request will fund equipment and maintenance for the Avon-based district
The Eagle River Fire Protection District’s board of directors on Feb. 27 decided to set a May 5 election for the district and to ask voters to set a 1.8 mill levy for a fire equipment and maintenance fund. The mill levy is estimated to raise just under $2 million in its first year and will be used to fund the purchase and maintenance of critical operational capital.
“The district reached out to the community through a survey, and board members and staff have been talking to community members about our local fire service,” board chair Clint Janssen said. “We believe community members understand that our district has to keep up with increasing tourism numbers, as well as the needs of our residents, including anticipating the effects an aging population will have on our call volume. Passage of this proposal will improve firefighter readiness and maintenance of our advanced equipment that save lives and increase our ability to address wildfire risks.”
If approved by voters, the mill levy will increase annual taxes by less than $13 annually for every $100,000 of residential value. The proposed mill levy amount was reduced after receiving feedback from the community, as well as additional evaluation and prioritization of short- and long-term capital needs.
“Through our outreach, we heard from many community members who were concerned about the impact to their budgets, but they also recognized the importance of having well-equipped and prepared firefighters and first responders,” Janssen said. “The board and staff took that feedback, sharpened its pencil, and set what we believe is a reasonable mill levy rate for voters to consider.”
The ballot will be mailed to all district voters between April 13 and April 20, and must be turned in by May 5. The question focuses on the following critical priorities for the district:
- Providing and maintaining equipment for emergency responses including water rescues, wildfire response, mass casualty incidents, and other emergency response services.
- Meeting increased demand for vital emergency services.
- Maintaining a state of readiness for firefighters and ensuring proper operation and durability of fire and emergency equipment.
“A key piece of this proposal is the district’s ability to invest in essential rescue, breathing and other life-saving equipment and the proper maintenance of those investments,” district Chief Karl Bauer said. “This will improve the durability and longevity of our critical life-saving and safety equipment, reducing future budget concerns for the district and taxpayers and improving the readiness and safety of our firefighters and community members.”
For more information about this mill levy or about the election, call Bauer at 970-748-4765 or email email@example.com.