Boone County Fire Protection District officials will ask voters to approve a bond issue during the general municipal election this April.
Battalion Chief Gale Blomenkamp says half of the proposed $14 million bond would be spent on apparatus and equipment. The other half would go toward improving the fire district’s facilities. Voters passed a 12-year bond issue for the Fire District in 1998. After paying off that bond in 2009, the board of directors considered extending the bond issue, but decided not to do so due to the poor state of the economy.
Blomenkamp says the Fire District has made due since then, but the poor conditions of current equipment warrants a new bond issue.
“Typically an apparatus life expectancy is about twenty years. And so we’ve got apparatus that are older than that that we’re using as front-line. And at this point, those things are really not safe for our firefighters, for the volunteers that are out there doing the stuff. And so it’s time to replace some of those and upgrade some of the other equipment that we have, Blomenkamp said.
Blomenkamp says the Fire District operates on an annual budget of about 3.8 million dollars and that fire stations have historically turned to bond issues to pay for maintenance and upkeep.