The DuPont City Council, at their meeting on March 3, 2009, passed an ordinance to place a lid lift proposition on the April 28, 2009 ballot. Following are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) followed by a letter from DuPont Mayor Tamara Jenkins.
Didn’t we just vote on this in November last year?
Yes. Based on the recommendations of the Fire Service Task Force, the DuPont City Council placed a lid lift proposition on the November 2008 ballot. This November lid lift was for $1.80 per $1,000 of assessed value. This measure failed, attaining 48% approval.
How much is this going to cost me?
The lid lift proposition on the April 28th ballot is for $1.00 per $1,000 of the assessed value of your home. If your home is assessed at $250,000, this lid lift will cost you $250 annually.
How long is the lid lift for?
The lid lift lasts for four years, beginning in 2010 and expiring at the end of 2013.
Will the lid lift remain $1.00 per $1,000 of Assessed Value the entire four years?
The lid-lift will never be for more than $1.00 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. This proposition meets the requirement of Initiative 747.
Does the lid lift pay for the full cost of the fire department?
No. This lid lift will generate $1,300,000 of revenue in 2010. This revenue, coupled with the $1,700,000 currently budgeted for fire department operations will fully fund a Fire and Medic One service.
I already see the Lakewood Fire Department in DuPont. Why is it going to cost another $1.00 per $1,000 to keep them here?
The 2009 fire department budget for the City of DuPont is $1,700,000 and pays for partial services from Lakewood Fire District 2, including staffing on the fire engine. However, without additional funding, the City cannot fully fund Fire and Medic One service and ultimately, it cannot support the current level of service. The revenue from this lid lift would augment the current fire department budget and allow the City of DuPont to enter into a full service contract with Lakewood Fire District 2.
Will we have an ambulance in DuPont?
Yes. The funds collected from this lid lift, coupled with existing EMS levy funds, will provide for a fire department medic unit (ambulance), as an integrated part of the Medic One system. This medic unit will be stationed in the City of DuPont and staffed with firefighter/paramedics.
How does the lid lift benefit me?
The lid lift will allow the City of DuPont to enter into a full service contract with Lakewood Fire District 2, providing dedicated staffing on a fire engine and a fire department medic unit, stationed in the City. This is crucial to an effective emergency response program and benefits every citizen in the City of DuPont.
Are we annexing into the Lakewood Fire Department?
No. The funds collected from this lid lift will help pay for a contract for service with Lakewood Fire District 2. Any decision to annex will require a vote of the citizens of DuPont and the citizens of Lakewood Fire District 2.
Why are we contracting with Lakewood instead of building our own fire department?
Building a DuPont fire department with the depth of services and resources that Lakewood Fire District 2 brings with it would be a practical impossibility. The depth of services and resources Lakewood Fire District 2 has at its disposal could only be replicated at a much higher price than the price of a contract for service. (For example – Paramedic Services, Hazardous Materials Response, Technical Rescue, and Dive Rescue)
What is the Fire Service Task Force I keep hearing about?
The Fire Service Task Force was appointed by the Mayor in January 2008 and was tasked with investigating fire department options available to the City. The Fire Service Task Force was established for a period not to exceed one year in order to investigate and hear testimony regarding the current status of Fire, EMS, and Ambulance service levels in DuPont. It was further tasked to recommend actions to provide stable, affordable service levels that are responsive to the current and projected risks in DuPont. In June of last year, the Fire Service Task Force recommended that the city move forward with contract services from Lakewood Fire District 2.
Why don’t we just use volunteer firefighters?
Part of the Fire Service Task Force’s investigation included an evaluation of using volunteer firefighters. Ultimately, the task force concluded that this option would not serve the needs of the City of DuPont.
Why the rush to put the issue on the April ballot?
The ballot measure in April provides enough time to hire and train the personnel necessary to implement a contract for service. It also provides necessary time for negotiations and ratification of the contract for service by both the City of DuPont and Lakewood Fire District 2. Waiting to put a measure on the August or November ballot would simply not provide enough time to properly implement a contract for service in January of 2010.
What if the lid lift fails again?
If the lid lift fails again, the 2010 fire department budget would most likely remain at $1,700,000. Lakewood Fire District 2 would no longer provide services beyond the end of 2009 and the city would fill necessary positions to oversee the fire department. This expense, coupled with rising costs, would cause staffing to decline, creating a diminished level of service to the community.
A letter from DuPont Mayor Tamara Jenkins
Dear Citizens of DuPont,
At the March 3, 2009 meeting of the DuPont City Council, by a vote of 6-1, an ordinance was passed that will place a lid lift measure on the April 28, 2009 ballot. This measure is a lid lift for $1.00 per thousand of assessed value that will, if approved, be used by the City solely for Fire and Medic One services. Last November, a similar lid lift measure for $1.80 per thousand failed, only receiving 48% of the vote. As you might recall, this measure was confusing and your City Council has taken great efforts to be sure that this current measure is well crafted and at a level that will meet the needs of the citizens, while also addressing the recommendations of the Fire Service Task Force.
We have worked diligently to come up with a reasonable proposal with Lakewood Fire District 2 that will provide a quality level of contract service if this funding measure is secured. The proposal, confirmed by Lakewood Fire Chief Ken Sharp, will continue to provide a fire engine stationed in our City, staffed with three personnel. The proposal also includes the addition of a fire department medic unit (ambulance), which will also be stationed in the City’s fire station. This medic unit will be a part of Lakewood’s Medic One system and will be staffed with Firefighter/Paramedics. In addition, the City would receive all of the services that Lakewood Fire District 2 offers, including public education programs for our schools, technical rescue services, hazardous materials response, dive rescue, and many other quality programs that our City does not currently offer. This entire proposal can be funded with the revenue raised by this lid lift, coupled with the current fire department budget.
The City has struggled with fire department issues for many years. After a significant amount of study and work by a wide variety of citizens and elected officials, we believe this plan will secure a fire department service level that will provide the emergency response capabilities and peace of mind that all of our citizens deserve.
There have been many questions raised during the course of our work on this issue. In an effort to capture some of these, I’ve put a page with frequently asked questions on our city website (see above). I hope this will help to answer questions you may have. If there is anything else I can answer for you, please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
Tamara Jenkins, Mayor
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