Clifton fire chief says ‘something’s going to have to give’

Clifton voters have a long slog ahead on Election Day, but Clifton Fire Chief Kent Holsan said it is essential that they make it to the last page.

There, on the final page of the behemoth 2008 ballot, will sit a $250,000 property tax increase the Fire District plans to use to underwrite the purchase of new staff and equipment.

Holsan said even though voters might be tired of weighing in on tax increases ranging from a severance tax hike to a sales tax increase to fund services for the disabled, they need to slog on.

Assistant Fire Chief Greg Martin, speaking while he was off duty, said he hopes the nearly 37,000 residents of Fruitvale and Clifton living inside the 15-square-mile district vote yes on the tax measure.

“If we don’t get more money, something’s going to have to give,” he said.

The ballot measure, which would increase the Fire District’s mill levy 1.244 mills, would cost the owner of a $200,000 house an additional $19.80 a year.

The additional revenue, Martin said, will help the district keep up with its operating costs and its growing number of fire and medical emergency calls.

According to statistics, during the decade between 1998 and 2007, the district’s call load has increased from 1,456 fire and medical calls up to 2,402.


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