On the ballot this November for the Foothills Fire Protection District (FFPD) are two requested tax increases. Ballot Issue 6B wants to increase our taxes by almost $25m over the next 25 years for a new fire station. Ballot Issue 6C wants a permanent 10% budget increase for unspecified additional fire protection services. VOTE NO ON 6B AND 6C.
Based on expert analysis by contractors, the average cost of a new fire station construction in Colorado is $2-3m. In nearby fire districts, Evergreen is building a very large structure for ~$8m and Elk Creek / Inter-Canyon are upgrading two stations for a total of $5m.
The fire department currently has a ~$1,000,000 annual budget to respond to ~600 emergency calls each year. The fire department’s current budget is sufficient to respond and stay prepared for emergencies. In the event of a catastrophic wildfire, the county, then state or federal government, comes in to manage the fire. No single local fire department has the resources to handle these fires and mutual aid is always needed.
Unfortunately, there has been a complete lack of transparency with this proposal. Our community has requested information from the FFPD Board of Directors (BOD) to explain this irresponsible increase, but nothing has been provided. Few specifics are available regarding the allocation of the capital expenditures for the $24,894,429 incurred debt, and the wording of the bond indicates that the money can be spent on virtually anything. There has been no prior community notice, input, or representation.
Our biggest fire risk is a wildfire, which cannot be prevented by a new fire station. We encourage you to VOTE NO ON 6B AND 6C.
This severely limits our ability to fund future department needs, schools, and much needed water supply infrastructure for the next 25 years. The taxpayers are overwhelmed.
A new mega station project at Highway 40 and Paradise provides duplicate administrative offices and little-to-no increase in service.
This new station will not improve service times for residents.
Future growth in the district will continue to be minimal, due to water constraints and lack of available land. Given that, departmental costs should go down, not up.
Thanks for checking the facts. We truly care about our fire department but in the medium to long term this will be extremely detrimental to the department and the taxpayers. VOTE NO ON 6B AND 6C.