Lincoln County Fire Protection District 1 is looking for support from the public to continue to provide adequate protection for the region.
The district is hoping area voters pass two measures, which will be on the Nov. 3 ballot. Proposition FIREFIGHTERS will place a half-cent sales tax on goods and services in the county, and Proposition EMERGENCY is a $14 million bond issue that will be on the ballot.
“With growth come the challenges of providing adequate protection. One staffed fire station is no longer sufficient to properly protect the infrastructure that now exists in our area,” Chief Mike Marlo said. “Being responsible leaders in emergency services can be challenging at times. Our staff and firefighters have put a tremendous amount of time into identifying current, short and long-term future needs.”
The recent storms that led to flooding in the area placed a great deal of pressure on the district, as it responded to more than a few calls throughout the evening, due to the natural floodplains that have been created by the Mississippi and Cuivre Rivers.
Those storms, however, also caused flooding in areas that are rarely known for water to saturate, leading to stranded motorists along Lincoln County’s roads.
The Fire Protection District added funds would be used immediately to make improvements, such as purchasing new equipment and a new fire station.
“Together, these propositions will allow us to hire additional fire firefighters to staff a second fire station full-time, replace the fire station in Moscow Mills and the fire station in the Old Alexandria area,” Marlo said. “These propositions will also allow us to replace aging fire trucks, lifesaving rescue equipment and provide proper firefighting gear for our firefighters.”
Marlo said the District wants to add jobs and make improvements in a fiscally responsible manner that will not strain Lincoln County taxpayers.
“Our team has worked diligently to find the most fiscally responsible way to reduce response times and enhance services. With the passage of Prop Firefighters, state law requires us to rollback our property tax by half the amount of sales tax we collect,” he said. “It is estimated we will collect $1,890,000 in sales tax. We would then rollback the property tax by half of that, which is $945,000.
“Currently, this would give back $.16 per $100 assessed home value from your property tax. It is estimated with the passage of Prop FIREFIGHTERS and Prop EMERGENCY that you will see no increase in property tax due to the sales tax rollback.”
With more people moving into Lincoln County, Marlo said passing the measures is more important than ever - and he hopes voters consider it as the months pass leading to November’s ballot.
“The current administration, staff and firefighters recognize and truly appreciate the dedication and perseverance it took to get us to where we are today,” said Marlo, who became fire chief May 28. “The 163-square miles, which includes the city of Troy, Moscow Mills and parts of unincorporated Lincoln County, that we are sworn to protect were largely undeveloped rural farmlands.
“Today, large subdivisions (with several more in planning), retail stores, industrial headquarters and major highways call our district home.”
For more information about the proposed measures, visit www.lcfpd1.org/propfire.