Official Press Release
On Tuesday, April 5th the citizens of the Boles Fire Protection District will have an opportunity to vote on a tax increase called “PROPOSITION SAFETY”.
Purpose of the Election: The Boles Fire Protection District’s first priority is safety of its citizens. In order to protect families and homes and to reduce response times we must replace outdated vehicles and equipment. In 2003, voters passed both a tax increase and bond issue. Since that time, our District has continued to grow. Call volumes have increased by over 50%, and operational costs have grown as well. Additionally, due to increase levels of required training and busy family lives, it has been harder to recruit and retain volunteers, forcing us to hire more personnel to respond to calls for service. The district has also started taking on Out of District Volunteers to try and help with serving our District better. In 2002 the Boles Fire Protection District responded to 830 emergency calls with an all volunteer staff. In 2015, we responded to 1262 emergency calls, a 54% increase.
This tax increase will have the following purpose:
1. Estimating to add 2 Personnel 24/7 in St. Albans and Villa Ridge to increase the number of Full Time Personnel for better district protection in St. Albans, Villa Ridge, Labadie, and Gray Summit areas.
2. To meet the demands of rising cost of operations.
Cost to Taxpayers: The District is seeking a tax increase of $0.35 per $100 of assessed valuation. The following shows taxpayers estimated break-down of cost.
The following formula can be used to determine the Estimated Annual Cost for an agricultural property taxpayer:
Agricultural Value x 0.12 = Assessed Valuation x 0.0035 = Estimated Annual Cost
Example: $250,000 Agricultural Value x 0.12 = $30,000 Assessed Valuation x 0.0035 = $105.00 Estimated Annual Cost
The following formula can be used to determine the Estimated Annual Cost for a commercial property taxpayer:
Commercial Value x 0.32 = Assessed Valuation x 0.0035 = Estimated Annual Cost
Example: $250,000 Commercial Value x 0.32 = $80,000 Assessed Valuation x 0.0035 = $280.00 Estimated Annual Cost
The following formula can be used to determine the Estimated Annual Cost for a residential property taxpayer:
Home Value x 0.19 = Assessed Valuation x 0.0035 = Estimated Annual Cost
Example: $250,000 Home Value x 0.19 = $47,500 Assessed Valuation x 0.0035 = $166.25 Estimated Annual Cost
About Boles Fire Protection District: The Boles Fire Protection District operates out of four stations with a full time staff of 12 and volunteers. We cover Labadie, Gray Summit, Villa Ridge, St. Albans, and parts of unincorporated Franklin County. We are an all-hazard department, responding to emergency calls including emergency medical assists, structure fires, motor vehicle rescues, residential and commercial fires, brush fires, water and technical rescues.
In April 2003, voters approved 2 issues. A general revenue increase for staffing and a bond issue for fire station improvements and equipment. In 2003, 8 personnel were hired to cover weekdays with our volunteers handling weekend calls. Today, we have 12 full-time firefighters with staffing 24/7/365. The Boles Fire Protection District used the bonds to remodel or replace all of the aging fire stations, and update the aging fleet of fire apparatus.
Today, our staffing includes two firefighters staffing the Gray Summit and Labadie stations seven days a week. The current staffing levels are below the national average, which is 3, with volunteers assisting at all four stations.
Like all things in our world today the cost of operations have increased substantially since 2003. Items like fuel and cost of vehicles are considerably higher than 14 years ago. The Boles Fire Protection District has graciously received $545,644 in federal and state grants to replace obsolete equipment during this time. In order to help cut costs, we perform much of our own vehicle and building maintenance. Additionally, we have also added solar panels and L.E.D. lighting to all of our stations to cut down on electric bills.
The Boles Fire Protection District operates 4 Pumpers, 2 Tankers, 1 Heavy Rescue, and several smaller vehicles. The cost to replace a single pumper today can cost over $500,000, with a 20 year life span. Our other equipment such as turnout gear, hose, and air packs also need constant replacement and repairs. All of this combines to continue to drive up operational cost of the district.
The Boles Fire Protection District operates several public programs such as C.E.R.T., smoke detector program, car seat installation, and fire prevention at the schools to name a few. We strive to educate the public on fire safety concerns.
The Boles Fire Protection District would like to thank ALL of its residents for the constant and ongoing support that we have received since we formed in 1971.