On Tuesday -- Election Day -- the Board of Directors of the Craig Rural Fire Protection will present you with Referendum 4A. In supporting this referendum, the average increase in residential taxes will be about $6. You may ask yourself the following questions:
1. "Why does the Fire District need additional revenue?" Since 1994, your fire district's yearly revenue has dropped $120,000. The Fire Department's engine fleet and equipment is aging and will need to be replaced during the next 20 years. We cannot replace fire engines with our current tax revenue.
2. "What will be the district's plans for your additional tax revenue?" During the next 13 years, your district will need to make capital purchases of $1.9 million with inflation factored in. The Board of Directors will achieve this by using governmental lease/purchase programs therefore allocating your tax dollars over a period of years and not simply put into a capital reserve fund until we have accumulated funding to purchase needed engines and equipment. The cost of fire engines and equipment can and has increased up to 5 percent to 15 percent per year, which makes a lease/purchase plan the best option for your fire district taxes.
3. "Why is this tax increase infinite?" Replacement of aging fire engines and equipment will always be a reality for this generation and future generations to come. To give the property owners and residents within your fire district the superior fire protection they deserve, we must have an ongoing replacement plan. Currently, 30 percent of the district's fleet of tucks are over 20 years old and are positioned to be replaced during the next 10 years. The remaining 70 percent of the fleet will need replaced after 2020. To sunset this tax increase would prevent future boards from developing and executing future equipment needs.
The Board of Directors of the Craig Rural Fire Protection District always has been and will continue to be good stewards of your tax dollars. The passing of Referendum 4A will help Craig Rural Fire Protection District be ready for the needs of tomorrow.
The Craig Rural Fire Protection District Board of Directors