Council considers proposal for $800,000 to boost Jefferson City Fire Department

Sep 5, 2012

The Jefferson City Council is considering a proposal that would provide the fire department with more than $800,000 of funding.

This proposal was introduced Tuesday at the city council meeting, a month after Jefferson City voters rejected a sales tax that would benefit the fire department.

Councilman Ralph Bray says that tax proposal came at a bad time.

“Everyone wants public safety, everyone loves firefighters you know, they save lives, they save property, but the time just is not right, was not right for a tax increase,” Bray said.

The money would allow the fire department to purchase new air tanks, radios, and specialized equipment for structural and ground fires.

Fire Chief Bob Rennick says after the tax vote failed, the city council offered to sponsor a bill using reserve funds.

He says the importance of the funding was recognized by the council.

“I think everyone through the election campaign came to understand and realize the seriousness of the funding or the need for the funding,” Rennick said.

Rennick says the new equipment would allow firefighters to engage and stay within the fire longer, as well as improve safety issues.

He says the department would be forced to continue replacing equipment gradually over time if the bill does not pass.

Bray says there were no objections to the bill when it was introduced to city council.

The final vote of the proposal is scheduled for Monday, September 17.