Fire protection districts take to polling places for support

Two referendums on the June 28 ballot could help first responders on the job.
Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 6:25 PM CDT
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STATELINE (WIFR) - Local fire districts turn to their constituents for funds. Both North Park Fire Protection District and Northwest Fire Protection District have referendums on the ballot for June 28.

North Park currently operates out of three locations, but wants to shrink to one, claiming the stations are severely outdated and too far away from the people they serve. The cost of building one centralized location could cost taxpayers in the district $35 to $70 more per year.

“The buildings- they’re old. They’re falling apart; they’re not sized appropriately for current fire apparatus in our operations,” said North Park Fire Chief Joel Hallstrom.

Hallstrom says even though residents will pay more, it will be worth it in the long run.

“Long term there’ll be savings realized. A newer building is much more efficient to operate. When we consolidate these buildings our need for duplicate equipment reduces,” he told 23 News.

Northwest Fire District also has a referendum on the ballot for an improved rescue tax. This will improve the overall quality of equipment at their stations.

“It can involve anything from radios to extrication equipment for car accidents,” said Northwest Chief Jerry Caskey.

The district is asking its residents to pay about 9 cents more per day. Caskey thinks this is imperative as technology has changed so much over the years.

“I mean if you look at cars and the technology they’re putting into cars now. The equipment that is needed to successfully do an extraction is changing rapidly because cars are being made out of stronger steel,” Caskey said.

Both referendums will be voted on during election day on Tuesday June 28.

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