Residents of Loma, Mack will vote on expanding fire district
On Dec. 9 residents of unincorporated northwest Mesa county, primarily in the area of Loma and Mack, will vote on whether to increase the size of the Lower Valley Fire Protection District by one-third.
The inclusion election will be in December because ballot language had not been written and legal papers had not been filed in time for the question to appear on the November ballot. If approved, the district would expand from its coverage in and around the city of Fruita to roughly everything bordered by 24 Road on the east, the state line on the west, Highline Canal to the south and Garfield County to the north.
Frank Cavaliere, chief of the Lower Valley department, said many residents have asked the fire district to expand. Having fire response service is one essential component for growth to occur, Cavaliere said.
“It is all based on future growth and development,” he said. “We are just one small component of what people need and we don’t want to be a stumbling block at any point.”
If the district is approved, new property owners would have their tax rate increased by 5.47 mills. There also would be a one-time fee of $30 per parcel of land and $60 per home, Cavaliere said. Only residents in the proposed expansion area of the fire district are eligible to vote in the election.
Those who want to stay out of the district have the option to file a petition to opt out, he said. Those areas that do opt out of the district will still receive fire protection, but will have to pay for the service per call, he said.
The district has no immediate plans for new stations or equipment but is working on updated service plans, Cavaliere said.