Fire districts seek mill levy increase
SUMMIT COUNTY – Three fire districts across the county are asking for mill levy increases on today’s ballot to help them add staff, equipment and services.Any registered voter living within the areas covered by the Red, White and Blue, Snake River and Copper Mountain fire departments are eligible to vote in the elections.Officials with the Red, White and Blue district wish to hire additional employees, improve training and replace aging fire trucks. They are asking for a 2-mill increase, which would bring an additional $960,000 into department coffers each year.The RW&B fire district includes land from Hoosier Pass to Farmer’s Korner.The tax increase would be implemented gradually, depending on the needs of the department. The entire mill levy probably will not be needed for three or four years.Firefighters with the Snake River department are hoping voters will help them maintain current service levels by approving a mill levy increase that would cost property owners about $12 annually for every $100,000 of value.If passed, the 1.5 mill increase will help fund general operating and capital expenses for the district, beginning in 2003. The increase will bring in about $300,000 in its first year. The tax money also will pay for safety gear for firefighters and the volunteer firefighters’ pension fund.The Snake River Fire Protection District includes the town of Montezuma, Keystone Resort and the neighborhoods of Summerwood and Summit Cove.Copper Mountain residents will be asked to vote on a measure that would raise property taxes for the district’s general fund, but the purpose of the increase is to help fund the fire department.Metro District officials say if the ballot question is approved, user fees will be deducted to offset the increase.The mill levy increase is not to exceed $489,778 a year or 11.65 mills.- Daily staff report
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