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Voters Approve Boone County Fire Protection District Bond Issue

Nathan Lawrence/ KBIA

Locals voted to approve the Boone County Fire Protection District (BCFD) board of directors’ request of a $6 million dollar bond issue during the municipal election on Tuesday, April 6.

This is a no tax increase bond issue intended for replacements of old apparatus, facility improvements, land acquisition and architectural design for replacement stations. Around 85% of 3,282 voters supported the BCFD bond issue, which means BCFD will be able to address their areas in need.

“That’s very exciting and very humbling, actually, to find that our voters and our customers support us that much,” said Assistant Chief of BCFD, Gale Blomenkamp. “Our hats are off to our volunteers and the work they do on a continual basis and... we just appreciate the support that we have, and we will work hard and diligent to maintain that level of support and continue the service that our customers expect.”

The no tax increase bond issue will be paid off in six years. In order to pay the full amount, there will be a continuation of the 25 cents per 100 dollars of assessed valuation on real property and personal property taxes, approved by the voters in 2014.

“I would just like to remind our voters that we set out this year to make a 10-year plan to continue to grow that organization and continue to serve them the way that they expect and deserve,” Blomenkamp said. “This is the first step of a series of five bond issues in a 10-year process.”

Every two years, the Fire District plans to ask voters to approve a no tax increase bond issue for district needs. By requesting a bond issue every two years, BCFD hopes to prevent voters from future larger bond issues that would increase their taxes.

$4,792,228 million of the bonds will provide five fire engines, four tankers and five brush trucks. The other $1,207,772 million includes land acquisition and station design for Station 5 and Station 8 along with one station addition.

Life expectancy for apparatus is 10-20 years. The current frontline apparatus was purchased in 1991 and 2000, exceeding the life expectancy with more repair costs.

The last BCFD bond issue was in 2014 for $14 million, which has been paid off early. The current bond issue will be a continuation of that effort to improve department equipment and facilities.