Two Tax Issues on April 3, 2018 Ballot
On April 3, 2018, the Johnson County Fire Protection District will have two tax issues on the ballot for our voters. This page is intended to provide information about the two tax issues. If you would like more information or for us to visit your organization please contact us. These two issues include a bonded funds proposal and a tax levy adjustment.
The bonded funds proposal is NOT A NEW TAX. This is a CONTINUATION of a current $0.18 per 100 dollar assessed value tax that has been in place since initial voter approval in 2007. Continuation of this bonding for 20 years will result in $4,000,000.00 of bonded funds. This funding will allow for multiple projects (see below). Again, this is NOT A NEW TAX.
The tax levy adjustment proposes an increase of 27 cents per 100 dollars of ASSESSED valuation to the present tax levy to fund increased daily expenses in today’s Fire District operations. In addition to assisting with general operations, this tax levy adjustment would allow funding to hire full time firefighting staff to supplement our volunteer staff and support future needs independent from special bond issues. JCFPD has not sought a tax levy adjustment since 2001 and our general operating expenses and calls for service increase continuously. Additionally, our agency provides thousands of hours of service responding to calls and logged over 6,425 hours of training in 2017.
These two issues are separate from each other but will appear on the same ballot in April. Please, if you have any questions we ask you to contact us at 660-747-5220, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, on our website or on Facebook through at www.facebook.com/johnsoncountyfpd. We are more than happy to provide you with additional information!
BONDED FUNDS PROPOSAL
Amount sought for bonding approval: $4,000,000.00 (over several years)
Length of bonding: 20 years
Bond tax levy: NOT A NEW TAX, but a continuation of the current tax originally passed by voters in 2007 which is $0.18 per 100 dollar assessed value Use of bonded funds: Update fire apparatus and equipment, station construction, land acquisition
6 Fire Engines (Apparatus):
– Allows for replacement of aging fire engines to better meet industry standards dictating usable life of these types of vehicles critical for fire suppression use.
– Provides a method to stagger future purchases of fire engines to help avoid the need for wide scale replacement each time purchases are made.
– Continues to provide a safer working environment for the fire fighting staff while traveling to and from and operating at emergency incidents.
– Assists in reducing maintenance costs as the current apparatus age.
6 Fire tankers (Apparatus):
– Allows for replacement of aging fire tankers utilized to haul water to emergency incident scenes required for fire suppression as fire hydrant systems are not available in the majority of the service area.
2 Brush trucks (Natural cover fire fighting apparatus):
– Allows replacement of vehicles 15 years old.
– Reduces maintenance cost currently associated with the aging equipment on hand.
2 Support vehicles (Apparatus):
– Allows replacement, re-assignment or rotation of existing support vehicles utilized by Water Rescue, administration and Auxiliary personnel.
1 Rescue (Apparatus):
– Allows replacement of current apparatus utilized for vehicle crash rescue and other related rescue purposes.
Fire Fighter safety equipment:
– Current Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) have reached their service life expectancy and have high maintenance cost to keep them in service for use by fire personnel to breathe in hazardous conditions at emergency scenes.
– Allows for retirement of the debt incurred to replace these life safety items.
Land acquisition and Construction:
– Allows for debt retirement of expenses which may be required to acquire land for additional station construction to provide fire services in the southeast, under protected area of the District.
Past and potential financial impact for the citizens:
– Past bonding authority funds (2007) were utilized to make major improvements in equipment, apparatus and overall services.
– Due to the improvements the Insurance Services Office (ISO) assigned rating scale (used by many insurance companies to calculate rate premiums) was improved from a 7/9/10 to a 5/6/10, which provided the opportunity for many residents to receive a lower insurance premium for their property.
– Continued improvement of the District’s capabilities will assist as we try to reduce the rating further.
– Additional station in the southeast area will bring additional properties within the required five road miles from a fire station to enhance their fire protection and potentially benefit from the lower ISO rating.
TAX LEVY INFORMATION
The Johnson County Fire Protection District was created with voter approval in 1978 to provide fire service to the eastern two thirds of the county excluding the cities of Warrensburg and Knob Noster. The District provides fire suppression and prevention, vehicle rescue and water rescue services in the 525 square mile District utilizing 46 apparatus or support vehicles and two boats operating out of eleven stations with 125 volunteers. The current levy will not allow the District to adequately upgrade apparatus, equipment and buildings as necessary without reliance on special bond issues while still meeting operational expenses.
District personnel responded to 604 requests for service in 2017 marking a 17 % increase in services since 2001, the last time a levy adjustment was authorized, which reflects the growing need and demand for services as our community continues to expand. The volunteer members provide thousands of hours of service to the public responding to calls, but also logged over 6,425 hours of training in 2017.
The current general operations budget funds are used for the daily operations of the District. Almost 9 % of the budget is used to maintain the apparatus, stations and equipment. Over 18 % of the budgeted funds are dedicated to insurance expenses alone. Future expenditures for replacement of apparatus and equipment will be directly affected by the commitments mandated by the budget for normal operations. Personal protective equipment required to enter a fire currently costs approximately $2,170.00 per person and must be upgraded or replaced regularly to maintain the personal safety of each member.
Other demands on the budget include the rising cost of fire service related equipment, compliance with changing standards and requirements placed on the fire service and the general cost of supplies and items essential to meeting fire suppression and education
expectations from the public.
WHERE WILL YOUR ADDITIONAL TAX DOLLARS BE SPENT?
The District is committed to provide the citizens of the District with the highest level of services and the volunteers with safe equipment to perform their duties. To achieve these goals the public’s support is needed to allow apparatus and equipment to be updated or replaced based on use and industry standards.
The additional funds generated from the proposed levy adjustment will be used to supplement the current general operations funds, provide an opportunity to establish some full time fire-fighting staff to supplement our volunteer staff and support future needs independent from special bond issues.
All funds received by the District are used by, maintained by and are for the sole benefit of the District as it operates completely separate from the central county government and is under the direction of its own elected board.