On fire rates

We believe the decision to distribute the proposed sales tax revenue evenly to area fire departments was the right decision. We believe this for several reasons.

1) It will simply cost more to bring a rural ISO 9 fire department up to state mandated ISO 6 standards than it will to maintain current numerically ISO low-rated rated departments which are (thankfully) more typical in the cities in our county.

These rural departments will also be the departments called for help when an especially dire emergency takes place at one of the more expensive buildings in, for example, Clinton of Fairfield Bay.

The argument is often brought up that departments immediate to higher real estate value locations, need more robust equipment – a ladder truck is what’s often brought up here.

Fair enough, but you got a ladder truck and a handful of volunteers you’re going to need help from other departments when it’s a big building burning. And right now you’ll have comparatively under-trained and less-prepared fire fighters coming to help. Funding would change that.

2) A funding formula as was proposed is a great way to drive everybody crazy at some point. We’re talking a 16 year life span on the tax, and that’s plenty of time for extended, pointless and time-waiting debates as to the funding formula put in place in the 2019 ordinance are being followed.

Further to that point, if some department is out there not taking appropriate action to the monies being collected, or if they’re hording the money (really, same thing) the Quorum Court can step in. It would be messy, it would be a battle, but it would be a battle fought only when it needs to be fought. The funding formula is and would be ultimately an endless battle, we predict.

3) The apportionment proposal had no mandate for funding rescue squad. Even the adherents of the funding proposal at the Quorum Court meeting – and they were in a minority – acknowledge that was a gap which needed to be filled. Yet no proposal to take care of this omission was forthcoming.

Obviously, quite obviously, rescue squad funding needs to be included.

Now our real concern: People will not support the sales tax extension (and you can expect the extension to be brought up again in the future in this space) because it doesn’t include a formula favoring cities.

We counter: No, you’re right, it may not be what you had in mind. At the same time the “we,” the greater community, needs this thing to pass. As much as we don’t like to speak to the negatives, the tax not passing will only hurt the county. That’s all of us – including those waiting for a rural department to assist in an emergency. So yeah, the tax not passing – considering the times we’re in – will hurt all of us.

We, the county, needs the revenue. And until natural gas comes back, until Son of Chicken Plant arrives, until some big-bucks operation puts in some big bucks project, it’s really the only option we got.


We know you’re busy, heck, we know a thing or two about busy ourselves, but at least, at least, stop by your local volunteer fire department and ask ‘em what’s going on.

That’s it, that’s all we’re asking. Stop by, stick your head in the door: “Hey, what’s going on?”

Maybe they’ll tell you, maybe they’ll bore you, maybe you’ll decide in the first five minutes you want nothing to do with those people (much, again, as we hate speaking to the negatives). But maybe, just maybe, you’ll find the thing you’re uniquely qualified to do, maybe it doesn’t involve you doing some crazy heavy lifting hero fire-fighter thing, and you’ll be part of the solutions.

You, part of the solution: Wouldn’t that be nice?

John 14 (NIV)

Jesus Comforts His Disciples

1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Jesus the Way to the Father

5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

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