LEAD PHOTO: The Southern Boone Fire Protection District awarded Kaitlyn Harnett, Emily Beck, Joe Pointer and Sam Bretthorst each with a certificate of recognition for emergency medical response ‘Clinical Saves’ at the annual banquet for SBFPD Volunteers held last week at the Optimist Club.  

LEAD STORY: Fire district looks for additional funding to protect growing Southern Boone

The Southern Boone Fire Protection District is attempting to protect a growing community by reverting to a higher tax rate used in the 1980s.

The all-volunteer district will have tax hike on the April 2 ballot that, if approved by voters, will add 12-cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The cost of the tax increase to a home owner with $150,000 of assessed valuation would be $34.20 per year.

The fire district was formed in 1983 with a tax levy of 33-cents per $100 assessed valuation, but since then the growth of the community has pushed that tax rate down – as per the state’s Hancock Amendment – spreading the tax base among a growing number of residents.

Now, according to fire district board member Jim Cunningham, the need for protecting a growing community means a need for more funding.

“We average more than two emergency calls per day,” Cunningham said, and we have seen as many as seven calls in a single day. Calls are increasing by more than 100 each year. Add to that the time required to run the fire department and the huge increase in the reports and paperwork required of us, and we are quickly exceeding the amount of time our volunteers can afford to donate.”

~ Get the rest of the story in today’s Journal ~

By Bruce Wallace