Letter: Support your local fire department; vote yes on 6A | SkyHiNews.com

Letter: Support your local fire department; vote yes on 6A

Letter to the editor

In light of the one-year anniversary of the East Troublesome Fire, I believe it is important to reflect on the importance of all fire districts, but especially Grand Fire Protection District No. 1, and the need for additional taxation to support the ever-growing demands for their services.

Grand Fire’s call volume is three times higher than it was in 2004, and Grand Fire’s combined mill levy of 8.246 mills is among the lowest in the region and lower than the state and national average for fire districts in similar socioeconomic conditions.

Trucks, equipment, safety gear, and buildings are not one-time purchases that require no upgrades, maintenance, and replacement over time. Furthermore, with increasing call volume in the northeastern part of our district (towards Grand Lake), interest in a new “North Station” is on the minds of many local emergency response agencies, including Grand Fire, EMS, Search and Rescue, and the Sheriff’s Office.

The fire department is also responsible for responding to gas leaks, carbon monoxide alarms, hazardous waste spills, rescues on Lake Granby, and assisting with car accidents and extractions. As demands for our fire department services continue to grow, the need for more paid staff, and more competitive wages/benefits for our current staff, is becoming increasingly evident.

People don’t like tax increases; I get it. Yet, we are looking at an average increase of only $12.19/$100,000 per year. For a million-dollar property, that is only an additional $121.90 annually. Are we really willing to jeopardize the loss of homes and lives over an extra 33 cents per day or 24 caramel macchiatos over the course of a year?

If you are in Grand Fire’s District, I encourage you to vote YES on Ballot Issue 6A.

— Katlin Miller, Director of Grand Fire Protection District No. 1

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